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The Latvian Pavilion for the 56th Venice Art Biennale is Being Presented in Riga

April 1, 2015

Today, 2 April, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art together with artists Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis and curator Kaspars Vanags presented the Latvian Pavilion ARMPIT for the 56th Venice Art Biennale, which is dedicated to do it yourself exponents with golden hands, who engage in innovation and experiments in their garages, without aspiring to the status of high art.

Due to the complex construction of the 80m² multimedia installation, it was firstly built in Latvia. Although the artists stress that the construction of ARMPIT will conclude in Venice and the work on view today has not yet been fully completed, it does create an impression of that which viewers will see from 9 April – 22 November at the international biennale in Venice.

As the Latvian Pavilion’s Curator Kaspars Vanags explains: “ARMPIT is a sculpturally created system of structures, interwoven with the fragments of a video story. It was inspired and aesthetically refers to conversations recorded in video format with men who spend their free time in creative isolation in workshops installed for the purposes of their hobby. The opportunity to peer into this private existential space prompted the artists to use the environment documented in the garages to create a “distilled” version of this idiosyncratic micro-space for the Venice exhibition. In the work of art, the din of the workshop is generated by a musical composition created by musicians Andris Indāns and Shipsi (Jānis Šipkēvics), in collaboration with the Riga Cathedral School’s Boys’ Choir and the men’s choir “Gaudeamus”.”

In turn, Solvita Krese, Head of the project executor, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), explained, “It is no ordinary tradition for artists to create their vision prior to the opening of the pavilion in Venice, but it was important for us to give the Latvian public the first chance to view the work, which will represent us at the most important global art event.” She also noted that ARMPIT team also consists of other professionals highly renowned both internationally and in Latvia: architect Austris Mailītis and graphic designer Edgars Zvirgzdiņš.

The project was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and its realisation is possible thanks to its main supporters: the State Culture Capital Foundation and ABLV Charitable Foundation. As Zanda Zilgalve, ABLV Charitable Foundation’s Chairman of the Board emphasised to the media: "It is a great honour to be the main supporter of the Latvian Pavilion. However, like any supporter that wishes to work on projects nurturing Latvia’s excellence, we must carefully consider our means. With projects on this scale that require our support, preparations must begin well in advance and we hope that the Ministry of Culture will announce the competition for the next Latvian Pavilion art project in good time."

For more information, please contact:
Marta Krivade, marta.krivade@lcca.lv, 26486312
56th Venice Art Biennale Latvian Pavilion ARMPIT Public Relations Manager

Image: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. ARMPIT's visual identity.

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