Jānis Taurens

Jānis Taurens is father of four children. Reads books (for example, Pindar's odes, Pynchon's novels and The Pickwick Papers). Does not hunt or fish; does not play football. Writes about philosophy, contemporary art and architecture. Has worked in urban planning and translated the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein: “Work on philosophy is - as work in architecture frequently is - actually more of a work on oneself. On one's own conception. On the way one sees things. (And what one demands of them.)” Studied architecture at the Riga Polytechnical Institute (now Riga Technical University) and philosophy at the University of Latvia, where he earned a PhD in philosophy in 2005. Has been an associate professor at the Latvian Academy of Art since 2006.

Missing Parts

When You Read This, Nothing Special Will Have Happened. Exhibition view. 2018

  If someone knew beforehand that I was writing a review of an exhibition by Armands Zelčs, they would probably expect me to examine the show from the point of view of his artistic practice as a whole, or as

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Krista Dzudzilo’s exhibition ‘The Sixth Creation of the World’. Review by Jānis Taurens


‘Die Welt zerfällt in Tatsachen.’ (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1.2) One way to ‘write’ a review of Krista Dzudzilo’s The Sixth Creation of the World is to put on a recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 6, probably the first performance I

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The Battle of the Amazons: Literature in Latvian Contemporary Art

Krišs Salmanis, Anna Salmane, Kristaps Pētersons 'Song'. 2015. Photo: courtesy of Purvītis Prize

… Ihr schatten, Groß, wie ein Riese, in der Morgensonne, Erschlägt ihn schon! … (Kleist. Penthesilea) To a certain extent, my essay has been written in the shadow of the Purvītis Prize and the exhibition featuring the artists who were

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The gods have left…


When thinking about the new series of exhibitions at the ‘kim?’ contemporary art centre,[1] which opened on 26 October, and, more broadly, about the current situation with art, the following words came to mind: “The gods have left.” Actually, it

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…that little phrase by Vinteuil…


“What can be shown, cannot be said.” (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 4.1212)   Halfway between the Contemporary Landscape exhibition at the Cēsis Art Festival, and Vienna’s ambitious claim to have hosted the first large-scale exhibition representing painting in the information age (the

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O. P.


Winter, but it was raining. I wondered whether the pure subject of cognition and aesthetic intuition, “a head without the body of a winged angel” – as I have read somewhere,  might also catch a cold, and without solving this

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