The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art announces Zane Zajančkauska and Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz as curators of its public programmes, and Solvej Helweg Ovesen as associate curator.

In its premier year, the Biennial will take over several venues in Riga, Latvia, running from 2 June to 28 October 2018.

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) is an international biennial with a European focus and a strong regional profile. Taking the rich history of Riga and the Baltic states as its underlying framework, the Biennial highlights its geography and artistic landscape and creates opportunities for artists to enter into dialogue with the cultural, historical and socio-political context of the city. RIBOCA1, as its being called, is titled “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More”.

The RIBOCA team, alongside Chief Curator Katerina Gregos, has announced the appointment of Solvej Helweg Ovesen as Associate Curator and Kolektivs (Zane Zajančkauska & Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz) as curators of its public programmes.

Arial view of Riga, Latvia. Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Arial view of Riga, Latvia. Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

RIBOCA1’s new associate curator, Solvej Helweg Ovesen, obtained her MA in Arts and Cultural Studies from Copenhagen University and completed the De Appel Curatorial Training Program in Amsterdam in 2003. For the past few years, Ovesen has served as the artistic director of Galerie Wedding – Raum für Zeitgenössiche Kunst in Berlin, where she curated solo exhibitions with an array of internationally renowned artists and collectives. Further, Ovesen is the founding director of Grosses Treffen, a yearly professional networking event for Nordic artists and curators and online archive with 800 Nordic artists’ profiles realised in collaboration with and at the Nordic Embassies, Berlin (2013–2017).

In “Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More”, the curatorial powerhouse is presenting a series of projects, most notably in Riga’s Dubulti Art Station. Aptly referred to as the “Sensorium”, the exhibition will focus on man’s perceptive and sensory tools, creating moments that trigger the lesser-thought-of senses, allowing for a “much-needed deceleration of perception”.

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Zane Zajančkauska is a Latvian curator most recently noticed for her co-curation of “You’ve Got 1243 Unread Messages” at the Latvian National Museum of Art (2017–18). She has also been at work developing the exhibition programme for the National Library of Latvia and public programme events for the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Arts. After obtaining her MA in Arts at the Latvian Academy of Culture, she went on to further study contemporary cultural management.

Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz attended the University of Art and Design, École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, where she developed an interest in product design, philosophy and anthropology. Based in Riga, she has worked as a designer for H2E and as the head of the visual communications department at the National Library of Latvia.

The duo’s endeavours in the Biennial include organising a series of performances, debates, workshops, lectures and film screenings that seek to integrate international visitors into Riga’s local scenes.

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Image courtesy Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA).

Taking into account criticisms of wide-spread biennial culture, or ‘biennialisation’, RIBOCA and its team aim to create a sustainable exhibitionary model based on the prioritisation of artists and the meticulous, engaging presentation of their work. Reflecting the Biennial’s mission to increase artistic engagement between the Baltic region and the rest of the world, the addition of Solvej Helweg Ovesen, Zane Zajančkauska and Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz highlights RIBOCA1’s role as hub of critical thinking, knowledge production, inclusive dialogue and contemporary practice.

Megan Miller

2093

RIBOCA1 runs from 2 June to 28 October 2018 in venues across Riga, Latvia, primarily at The Former Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, Elizabetes iela 19 – 6 Riga, LV-1010.

Related topics: biennials, curators, curatorial practice, news, Latvia, art and the community

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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