This year from September 17 till October 11 Artishok Biennale (AB) titled “A+B=AB14” will take place at the Mūkusala Art Salon, Riga. This is the first time for AB to take place outside of Estonia. AB is an exhibition format combining ten artists with works created for AB and ten critics writing about each of the works on display. Critics' accomplishments will be presented in the exhibition alongside the newly made artworks.
The aim of AB is to actualize the synergy between critical and creative thinking. Artforum magazine contributing editor, artist and gallerist John Kelsey writes that nowadays the critic has chosen to become a hack or a cook and criticism as such remains tied to outmoded social relations. As the way out of closed circle Kelsey suggests finding a new critical distance, or learning to deal with the loss of distance. Once the critic has renegotiated distance, it is nevertheless very probable that she will return, even though she might not be recognizable as such. (John Kelsey Rich Texts: Selected Writing for Art. 2012). Accepting the problems surrounding the so called old criticism and taking into consideration Kelsey's ideas, AB tries to follow the same idea of renegotiated distance. By placing the critics into the same space with the artists, curators make an attempt to break the traditional space-time gap between art and criticism.
Participating artists from Estonia are: Kristi Kongi, Laura Kuusk, Jass Kaselaan, Martiini, Margus Tamm. From Latvia: Kristīne Alksne, Jana Briķe, Krisš Salmanis, Arturs Bērziņš, Ivars Grāvlejs. Participating art critics from Estonia are Tanel Rander, andreas w, Peeter Talvistu, Mari Kartau, Elena Šmakova. From Latvia: Maija Rudovska, Jānis Taurens, Valts Miķelsons, Pauls Bankovskis, Anna Salmane. AB14 is curated by Šelda Puķīte (LV) and Indrek Grigor (EST). Design by Kristians Brekte.
AB program will open on September 17, 2014 when the first from the altogether ten art pieces is presented. Each artwork will be accompanied by ten texts written by the critics about the particular piece. Every opening evening will be closed with a Critic Talk involving participants of AB14. The program will continue – following the same formula – for ten days until all the works have been added to the exhibition and hundred critical texts presented, thus the exhibition can be considered ready. As such the show will stay on display for two more weeks from September 27 till October 11, 2014.
Wednesday, September 17
18:00 Presentation of work by Krišs Salmanis “Ode to Joy”
18:30 Critic talk with Peeter Talvistu. Questions by magazine Kunst.ee editor in chief Andreas Trossek
Thursday, September 18
18:00 Presentation of work by Margus Tamm „YOU AND ME”
18:30 Critic talk with Anna Salmane
Friday, September 19
18:00 Presentation of work by Arturs Bērziņš „Untitled (book)”
18:30 Critic talk with Mari Kartau. Questions by cultural weekly newspaper “Sirp” art editor Reet Varblane
Saturday, September 20
18:00 Presentation of work by Kristi Kongi „Bright Light”
18:30 Critic talk with Jānis Taurens
Sunday, September 21
18:00 Presentation of work by Jana Briķe „The day when time stood still”
18:30 Critic talk with Elena Šmakova. Questions by art criticism platform Artishok board member Liisa Kaljula
Monday, September 22
18:00 Presentation of works by Laura Kuusk „Letter” and „Candle”
18:30 Critic talk with Maija Rudovska
Tuesday, September 23
18:00 Presentation of work by Ivars Grāvlejs
18:30 Critic talk with andreas w. Questions by magazine Estonian Art editor in chief Liina Siib
Wednesday, September 24
18:00 Presentation of work by Jass Kaselaan „Untitled”
18:30 Critic talk with Pauls Bankovskis
Thursday, September 25
18:00 Presentation of work by Kristīne Alksne „Unrealised project”
18:30 Critic talk with Tanel Rander. Questions by editor of radio show Ministry of Art Indrek Grigor
Friday, September 26
18:00 Presentation of work by Martiini „View 2”
18:30 Critic talk with Valts Miķelsons
The fourth AB is taking place at the Mūkusala Art Salon, a private, non-commercial gallery which also owns a remarkable collection of mostly Latvian art from different periods. Curators have chosen ten works from the collection to be displayed within the exhibition alongside the newly created works. Those ten works were allocated as comments on the practice of the ten participating critics, who were then each asked to write an extra article about their work.
Critics and Mūkusala Art Salon collection works in dialog:
Peter Talvistu (EST) = Kristaps Ģelzis. Left Coast. 2007
Anna Salmane (LV) = Reinis Hofmanis. Sale. 2010
Mari Kartau (EST) = Otto Zitmanis. Thus Love the Latvians. 2011
Jānis Taurens (LV) = Reinholds Kasparsons. The Young Chess Player. 1936
Elena Šmakova (EST) = Harijs Brants. Candy Eater. 2012
Maija Rudovska (LV) = Ēriks Apaļais. Words Words. 2011
andreas w (EST) = Visvaldis Ziediņš. Shoe with Beeswax Cells. Undated
Pauls Bankovskis (LV) = Kārlis Vītols. The Rape of Eurobabe. 2010
Tanel Rander (EST) = Kārlis Hūns. Landscape with the Young Fisherman. 1876
Valts Miķelsons (LV) = Valdis Krēsliņš. Sign of the Times. 2010
AB as a format was born in Estonia and the first three events took place in Tallinn and Tartu, involving only Estonian artists and critics, with occasional foreign guests among the critics. Now, in 2014, AB has become a collaboration project between Estonia and Latvia involving participants from both countries.
The Fourth Artishok Biennale “A+B=AB14” is supported by Culture Ministry of Republic of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and Lux Express