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KRIŠS SALMANIS. BLACK, WHITE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

6. APRIL 17.30



Saturday
2024


In his exhibition Black, White, and Everything in between, one of the most active Latvian artists and thinkers Krišs Salmanis offers three black-and-white videos, each dedicated to a specific period in recent Latvian history: Latvia before World War I, Latvia under Soviet occupation, and Latvia in its years of restored independence, as a metaphor for a bright future, a state of captivity, and liberation. Two of these works, ‘March’ and ‘Attack’, will be exhibited in Latvia for the first time.

Invisible strings link the three black-and-white canvases into a united narrative, which a keen eye will make their own. As easy and safe as modern living is, the recent past has now become more important than ever before. In the middle of the opposition between black and white, we can find the path of understanding, hope, protection, and humanity.

Krišs Salmanis works with video, animation, and installation art. He has studied at the Art Academy of Latvia and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Salmanis has had solo exhibitions at kim? in Rīga, LMCA in Vilnius, Art in General in New York, A4 in Chengdu, China, and many other galleries. He has received several awards, including that of the 13th Tallinn Print Triennal in Estonia (2004), the 19th Videokunst Förderpreis in Bremen (2010), the Purvītis Prize (2017), and the Player’s Night Award (2019). Krišs Salmanis’ works are featured in the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Art Museum of Estonia, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Finland. He has participated in many international artists’ residencies, including HIAP in Helsinki (2012), KAIR in Kamiyama, Japan (2015), and ISCP in New York (2022). The artist represented Latvia at the 55th Venice Biennale.

‘March’ (2023) 14:18

Archive materials in HD video

Sound: Marks Žubulis

The work was created in collaboration with redzidzirdilatviju.lv, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and Filmbüro Bremen e. V.

The author says: ‘A hundred years ago, thousands of people are formidably walking past the camera. I am mesmerized by how alive they look and how dead they actually are. As most of the people we see are political activists, students, government employees, and soldiers, we can safely assume that the majority passed away in camps, war, and exile. And yet it is hard to imagine any one of these people thinking about that as they march on in demonstrations and processions that we see captured.’

‘Attack’ (2023) 03:40

Loop

Archive materials in HD video

The work was created in collaboration with redzidzirdilatviju.lv, the National Film Centre of Latvia, and Filmbüro Bremen e. V.

Frames from the 1969 newsreel Karavīrs (Soldier) / Voiceover: ‘You must always be friends with your best helpers – dogs.’

‘Victory’ (2017) 00:51

Animation loop, hand-developed 16 mm film

Camera: Armands Grundulis

The work was created during a workshop in collaboration with Arterritory.com and the Echo Park Film Center.

The author says: ‘2017: The Victory Memorial to the Soviet Army in central Rīga was enveloped in dramatically opposing attitudes. For a long time, I had avoided thinking about it, but I started suspecting that the memorial might be weary of embodying the relic radiation of the Soviet occupation and that it was willing to loosen up a little. Its shape appeared to be a rather witty bundle of vertically extruded five-pointed stars. A clever modernist solution. I would also imagine the monument performing a little formal dance in the dead of the night, with no one there to see. It was only later that I realized its similarity to the fascia of fascists. Or perhaps it had occurred to me before and I had forgotten. In August 2022, the monument was pulled down.’

Admission: free

Opening hours: Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat–Sun 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Location:

Civita Nova 1


Organized by:

Great Amber


Supported by:

Liepāja City Council, State Culture Capital Foundation, “Kinopunkts” and Samsung


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