CYCLE OF EXHIBITIONS “DIVDABIS”: Atis Ieviņš and Inga Meldere
May 30, 2017
On 1 June, the second exhibition of Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art's exhibition cycle Divdabis will be opened at the Latvian National Museum of Art, featuring photographer, passionate experimenter with technologies and author of critically ironic commentary on Soviet society, Atis Ieviņš, and contemporary artist Inga Meldere. The exhibition is supported by the ABLV Charitable Foundation under the auspices of the programme “Support for Contemporary Art Exhibitions”.
Inga Lāce, curator of the exhibition Divdabis. Atis Ieviņš / Inga Meldere explains: "The idea originates from Atis Ieviņš' photo-screenprint TV (1980), which shows a screen of a colour television set with an empty ice hockey goal. The work is characterised both by the author's interest in colour television, which was rare in Soviet Latvia at the time, and the dullness of everyday life where television provided a brief respite from reality. In her new works created especially for the exhibition, Inga Meldere continues the reflection on the TV screen, its images and viewers from a contemporary perspective, taking into consideration today's characteristic overload of visual material."
Both artists share an experimental approach to the technical side of making an artwork. The portraits Atis Ieviņš' created during the Soviet period, which will also be on show in the exhibition, are made in his unique technique of silver gelatin process. In the reaction between photographic paper from that period and silver developer, Ieviņš achieved a photographic image that resembles a painting. There are parallels to Inga Meldere's experiments, where the artist first prints the image on a fabric, paints it over, occasionally prints on it again or alters the sequence of actions, and, with the help of this complex technical process, creates light, transparent and subtle collages of images. While Ieviņš' works suggest an ironic and sometimes critical perspective on Soviet society, Meldere is interested in both personal and art-historical images. By highlighting several unnoticed details and using them in collages, the artist strives to show to herself and the viewers new possibilities for interpreting the past and the present.
About the cycle of exhibitions “Divdabis”
The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) organizes a cycle of exhibitions in the Latvian National Museum of Art which brings together two different personalities and space-times of Latvian art. The LCCA has chosen three vivid duos that include notable artists of their time: Jānis Borgs and Kaspars Groševs, Atis Ieviņš and Inga Meldere, Oļegs Tillbergs and Jānis Filipovičs. Specially for these exhibitions, works made in the 70-90s will be reconstructed and new works will be made, surveying the conditions and context which has affected creative processes in different eras.
A string of artists which were active in the 1970-90s have traced the development of Latvian contemporary art and have become important markers on the art map. Nevertheless, for several decades their work has only fragmentarily been accessible to the general public. Through the reconstruction and interpretation of works from this period, the cycle of exhibitions is an attempt to fill in the blank or little-known chapters in art history, and, in a broader sense – to make these works and their context accessible to a contemporary audience.
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Photo: Inga Meldere, "Gaismeklis", 2017.