The fifteenth Cēsis Art Festival started at the weekend with an ambitious exhibition of contemporary art and an impressive sound and movement performance “Death Dance”.
The theme of the festival this time is “Myths and Rituals”. They have always inspired artists to try to get closer to the reflection of the truth and to find answers to the most important questions, which also concern the mystery of life and death.
“It is worth always talking about what is in the air at the moment, what is relevant, what is in the senses. And not just naked topicality, but it’s on a sensory level. I think that this year the program really resonates, ”said the festival director Juris Žagars. “We have been working in a pandemic for two years, and despite the fact that everything showed that the festival should probably stop – either the flow of money will stop or the flow of spectators will stop – then not one of them has stopped. And I would even say that the interest of viewers has increased to some extent, and that is only logical. And also the limitations – the fact that we only organize events for vaccinated and certified patients does not seem to affect the flow of visits. “
In the large-scale exhibition “Come Closer to the Sun” at the Cēsis Contemporary Art Center, seven Latvian artists resonate with current events and explore important myths and rituals in large-format new works in painting, sculpture, photography and video art.
The curator of the exhibition Daiga Rudzāte explained: “I think that myths and rituals are premature.
What is a sign of this age is the fact that undoubtedly the pandemic from which we are all tired has inspired us to think about the big questions,
which the 21st century man did not want to think about in such a normal daily life, in fact, perhaps even avoided to some extent. “
The exhibition is introduced by the work of Andris Eglītis’ documentary sculpture in a new technique for the artist – aerated concrete, referring to the cycle of “Earthworks” created ten years ago. The artist said: “This is the mythical, legendary moment of the opening of last year’s Wildlife exhibition, which was then installed, scanned and documentary sculpture.”
An endless video interview kaleidoscope of work on the most important issues, the layout of the world and the attitude towards what will happen after death, created by Katrīna Neiburga. She emphasized: “These topics have always been important to me, in connection with Covid-19, the excitement and also the adventures of my family, it seemed to me that when we just met, we rarely clung to these topics. I call this work “Comfort,” because it’s comfort to me. “
Aija Zariņš has always been attracted to myths and rituals, this time she has turned to Vedic myths. “These are the Puranas, the story of how three sisters came out of space, a white race who settled in three places, one of whom died, one who lived in the Pacific, which was very peaceful, actually eaten by the Indonesians,” he outlined. artist.
Michael Fischer, on the other hand, talking about modern society through the theme of aliens, has created a new mythology and pop-up artifacts that future generations will be able to wonder about. “I myself liked the idea when I worked on this topic that this material – granite – would last for at least 20,000 years. I liked the idea – how will those people who find him suffer, that someone will really find him, and if they are people, even better, if not… It was an interesting task for himself – to make things as complicated as possible, ”said Fisher.
On the opening night of the festival, in the yard of the Cēsis Contemporary Art Center, a special event – the sound and movement performance “Dance of Death” – was created by composer Edgars Mākens in creative collaboration with artist Krišs Salmanis and a group of dancers led by choreographer Rūdolfs Gediņš.
“I think humor is very important in life. On the one hand, we are given an awareness of the inevitability of death, it seems to me that there is humor on the other side, ”stressed Edgars Mākens. “And Krišs and Rūdolfs tried very hard to get that humor in this music and to make a mourning march like something grotesque, funny, like a farce just because we are alive now and we need to celebrate it.”
During the festival, the series of the latest works of Madara Kvēpa, the recipient of the SEB scholarship in painting, “Vesels” will also be shown in the Raiskums pub art space. There are also several concerts, theater performances and movie evenings.
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