Hardijs Lediņš and Juris Boiko

Hardijs Lediņš (1955–2004) and Juris Boiko (1954–2002) were Latvian avant-garde multi-media artists, musicians, poets, and publicists. Their work was made with the contribution of numerous artists, musicians, and other creative individuals, and it consisted of performances, music records, installations, absurd literature and poetry, architecture critique, and other creative activities. At the time, it revealed a completely new means of expression in Latvia and dissolved the boundaries between artistic disciplines.

Dr Enesers’ Binocular Dance Lessons
Video, 1986–1987

Doctor Eneser was a fictional character, a teacher of eye dances, whose name came from the abbreviation NSRD (The Workshop For The Restoration Of Unfelt Feelings), who promoted a performance-ritual of rhythmic eye blinking with an elaborate pseudo-scientific and poetic basis, involving the audience. Doctor Eneser represented the latest trend in eye dances – the postmodern one – and presented eye dances as an orderly worldview, creating a new level of communication. The multi-media cycle comprised performances, video pieces, and a music album, pieces of which were included in the eye dance classes. The first public binocular dance lesson performance took place in 1986, at the Youth Press Festival in the Mažparks Dance Pavilion, and Hardijs Lediņš integrated separate elements of eye dance lessons into his discotheques or NSRD live performances as an interactive element. The dance lessons’ performances featured distinctive costumes and accessories such as sunglasses for beginners of binocular dances. The first video of the cycle was a lecture by Juris Boiko (it was he who was called Doctor Eneser); the second part consisted of a digital animation of eyes blinking, and the third part was a documentation of the performance at Salaspils Botanic Garden.
Part II: H. Lediņš, J. Boiko, computer graphics: I. Žodžiks, M. Rutkis, 1986
Part III: H. Lediņš, J. Boiko, J. Ābols, M. Bogustovs, I. Černova, R.
Dižkačs, R. Gobziņš, R. Lagimovs, R. Piešiņa, A. Romanovska, A.
Sparāns, D. Silava, D. Šēnberga, A. Vīksna, I. Žodžiks, Z. Vidiņš, 1987
Courtesy Archive of Hardijs Lediņš, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), Riga

Farewell to the Empire
Action, 1991

Shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Hardijs Lediņš, along with theatre director Māra Ķimele and her acting students, traveled to the cities of so-called Russia’s Golden Ring. The two-week expedition included theatrical events and performances, improvising with situations and the environment, with fellow travelers, and with locals, with Hardijs Lediņš as the source of creative provocation. “We stopped at various towns and cities, appeared as freaks, as a Lilliput circus, and parodied the structure of the great collapsing empire – the way it’d come to the absurd”, photographer Valts Kleins commented. The result of the Farewell to the Empire action was supposed to be in multimedia form – a mixed collaboration of media and authors, to achieve a more complete manifestation of the idea. This intent was only partly realized; in 1996 Krupis Baravika company completed a video edit of the action. In 1997, the video edit was displayed at the Slepenais eksperiments club, together with a photography exhibition by Valts Kleins.
Postproduction: H. Lediņš, V. Poikāns (Krupis Baravika), 1996.
Courtesy: Archive of Hardijs Lediņš, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), Riga.