From August 7 to September 13, 2014 in its Upper Gallery the Mūkusala Art Salon presents Arnis Balčus' solo exhibition “Victory Park”. The latest series of Balčus' works balances on the border of documentality and fiction, creating a critical mosaic of Latvian history and society.
“The Monument to the Liberators of Riga, pictured in the photographs, currently serves as a symbol of trauma for Latvians. Balčus, though, suggests that this trauma is merely a symptom, and the cause of the agitation is to be found in the unconscious,” comments Sergejs Kruks, a communication expert. “The phallic objects, war memories, red blood and sexuality clearly invite a psychoanalytic interpretation. In the pre-Oedipal child's perception his parents' sexual intercourse indeed is an act of aggression. The two snow-white lab-coats and orderly beds testify to the purity of intentions. The desire for the Other has been recognised. Fantasy raises alarm, imagining danger, that can arise from this relationship. Therefore, recognition is followed by expulsion. The Other becomes “Alien”.”
Arnis Balčus (1978) works with photography and video, addressing the post-Soviet problematics and its traces in the Latvian living space. He has held solo exhibitions in London, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Riga and elsewhere, his works have been published in such magazines as Achtung Mode, Dazed & Confused and The New Yorker. Balčus' photo series “Amnesia” is part of the Contemporary Art Collection of ABLV Bank, his photos are held in private collections in Germany, United Kingdom, USA and others. He is editor-in-chief of Foto Kvartāls, a portal dedicated to photography.
Arnis Balčus' “Victory Park” is part of the exhibition “Latvians. Myths and Contexts”, which looks at notions surrounding Latvian identity and underlines their interrelation with the changing history and open future. The exhibition is curated by Līga Lindenbauma.
Arnis Balčus' exhibition “Victory Park” is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation, EiroAWK, Foto Kvartāls
Press image: Arnis Balčus. From series “Victory Park”, 2012. Inkjet print. 96 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the artist.