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.
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.
17.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Krišs Salmanis “Ode to Joy”
18:30 Critic talk with Peeter Talvistu
18.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Margus Tamm „YOU AND ME”
18:30 Critic talk with Anna Salmane
19.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Arturs Bērziņš „Untitled (book)”
18:30 Critic talk with Mari Kartau
20.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Kristi Kongi „Bright Light”
18:30 Critic talk with Jānis Taurens
21.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Jana Briķe „The day when time stood still”
18:30 Critic talk with Elena Šmakova
22.09. 18:00 Presentation of works by Laura Kuusk „Letter” and „Candle”
18:30 Critic talk with Maija Rudovska
23.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Ivars Grāvlejs
18:30 Critic talk with andreas w
24.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Jass Kaselaan „Untitled”
18:30 Critic talk with Pauls Bankovskis
25.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Kristīne Alksne „Unrealised project”
18:30 Critic talk with Tanel Rander
26.09. 18:00 Presentation of work by Martiini „View 2”
18:30 Critic talk with Valts Miķelsons
AB14 is curated by Šelda Puķīte (LV) and Indrek Grigor (EST). Design by Kristians Brekte.
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.
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.