Exhibition 'Akademia: Performing Life' at Villa Vassilieff, Paris

February 9, 2018
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Aia Bertrand with students at the Akademia, photographed by Raymond Duncan circa 1924. Courtesy : Duncan Collection

Aia Bertrand with students at the Akademia, photographed by Raymond Duncan circa 1924. Courtesy : Duncan Collection

January 13 – March 24, 2018

Opening on Saturday, January 13, from 4 to 9 pm

With (-)auteur, Mercedes Azpilicueta (Pernod Ricard Fellow 2017), Ieva Balode, Yaïr Barelli, Aia Bertrand, Raymond Duncan, Ieva Epnere, Barbara Gaile, Daiga Grantina, Myriam Lefkowitz, Mai-Thu Perret, Andrejs Strokins

Curators: Solvita Krese & Inga Lāce (Latvian Center for Contemporary Art)
Associate pro­gram­ming curator: Camille Chenais

The exhi­bi­tion “Akademia: Performing Life” will look at nar­ra­tives and themes springing from Akademia, a community and an alter­na­tive school that offered courses in dance, art and crafts, hosted an art gallery and a publishing house and staged the­atre and dance pieces between the 1910s and 1970s in Paris. Established by Raymond Duncan, American dancer and artist, and since the 1920s co- run by Aia Bertrand, a dancer, writer and an expa­triate from Latvia, the Akademia was a man­i­fes­ta­tion of their ide­o­log­ical syn­cretism blending socialist prin­ci­ples, the desire to revive ancient Greece and a “nat­ural” Latvian way of life. The exhi­bi­tion aims to explore the ideas and prin­ci­ples embodied by Akademia at its incep­tion as poten­tial alter­na­tives to tra­di­tional models of edu­ca­tion, cre­ation and com­mu­nity life, while also ques­tioning its more obscure aspects.

Akadémia: Perfoming Life is realized in collaboration with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga as part of the contemporary art and research project Portable Landscapes which examines the stories of exiled and emigré Latvian artists in Paris, New York, Sweden and Berlin, locating them within the broader context of 20th-century art history, and wider processes of migration and globalization. The exhibition will have its next iteration at the Latvian National Museum of Art in April-June, 2018.
Akadémia: Perfoming Life unfolds over two chapters at Villa Vassillief, Paris and Latvian National Museum of Art; the exhibition is coproduced by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Bétonsalon – Center for Art and Research.

Villa Vassilieff
Villa Marie Vassilieff
Chemin de Montparnasse
21 avenue du Maine
75015 Paris