RIBOCA3 was previously set to take place from 15 July – 2 October 2022 under the title “Exercises in Respect”, but the organization made the decision to cancel the event due to the devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The founder of the Riga Biennial Foundation Agniya Mirgorodskaya elaborates:
“The war set out new priorities for everyone. We simply couldn’t continue to work on an exhibition rooted in mutual respect and cooperation, while these unthinkable crimes are being committed in Ukraine. The exhibition had to be postponed and changed. Our two-part launch across two locations this summer hopes to inspire dialogue between international and local artists and practitioners, as well as with the local community at a time when collectivity and global discussion are so necessary.”
Drawing a line under the concept of “Exercises in Respect”, RIBOCA3 will showcase artists from the canceled exhibition, along with their documented projects, in a magazine which provides a platform to display their work and reach wider audiences. The publication echoes the original exhibition concept while highlighting the resilience of the artists and curators that continue to find ways to connect and share art despite the challenges posed by the current situation.This June, René Block invites 13 artists to participate in an exhibition at the Kunsthal 44Møen, located on the island of Møn - a UNESCO-declared biosphere reserve just off the coast of south-eastern Denmark where Block partially lives and works. The exhibition will include artists that were to participate in the original exhibition “Exercises in Respect”, celebrating longstanding connections coming to artistic fruition. Among existing works, it will present new commissions originally designed for Riga that have been transformed for the Kunsthal 44Møen.
For the exhibition, artists from Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine will gather on the island to think, reflect and tell stories - some new, some interrupted. For example, Evita Vasiļjeva, who had originally planned to install her concrete reversed benches on Andrejsala in Riga, will now turn pre-existing Danish benches upside down. Dace Džeriņa’s gentle and poetic film about a decaying manor in Kurzeme, Latvia, commissioned for the original concept of RIBOCA3, will now serve as a connecting link between the exhibitions in Denmark and Riga. Jason Dodge, from the island of Møn, will create an abstract installation using floor surfaces. Bjørn Nørgaard's container will take a prominent place in front of the Kunsthal, creating a platform for conversation and exchange between industry and nature, locals and tourists, people and other species. Humorous drawings by Māris Subačs, framed into a wall installation, will serve as a reminder that one can discuss serious things in a playful manner.
“INTERMEZZO is a celebration of art, respect, and coexistence across and despite the conflicted waters of the Baltic Sea. With new work from the whole region, 44Møen will be the center of an artistic dialogue that was prevented in Riga in 2022. INTERMEZZO is a space for reflection and dialogue about a changing Europe.’’
RIBOCA3’s main project, There Is an Elephant in the Room Curated by SUPERFLEX.The acclaimed artist collective was originally invited to participate in “Exercises in Respect” by René Block. After the postponement in 2022, Block was keen to highlight the work There Is an Elephant In the Room and invited SUPERFLEX to curate RIBOCA3's central component in Riga under the same title. The biennial will see the gradual unveiling of works by an international roster of 25 celebrated female artists. The works will be primarily situated in public spaces, placing the focus on the city itself and establishing an artistic infrastructure in an urban space. There Is an Elephant in the Room will be accompanied by a rich public program, featuring workshops, live acts, and talks, fostering debate, and making space for a plurality of perspectives.
SUPERFLEX will create a space that will serve as the setting for the public programming, with a large LED artwork, There Is An Elephant In The Room, to be placed inside a “transparent” space that will host the talks and discussions. This room will function as a center for RIBOCA3 and a site for assembly.
Image : SUPERFLEX, There Is An Elephant In The Room, 2021. Photos by Andreas Zimmermann, courtesy of von Bartha.
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