In September, for already the ninth year the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art will be holding the largest annual contemporary art event in the Baltics Survival Kit. This year it has been titled “Becoming an Apricot * an Apple * a Crow * a Tree * a Cockroach * a Glacier * a Plant * a Mushroom * a Shell * a Bird * Algae ”, and will be directed towards the broadening of perception and learning from nature.
The curatorial team of Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce reveal that the participants of this year’s international art exhibition will include Maria Thereza Alves, Laurie Anderson, Jonathas de Andrade, Lotta Antonsson, Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Juris Boiko, Andris Eglītis, Ieva Epnere, Annika Eriksson, Andris Grīnbergs / Laima Žurgina, Jim Holyoak, Nona Inescu, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Christine Ödlund, Jean Painlevé, Andrej Polukord, Krišs Salmanis, Ehsan Ul Haq, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Webb, Gernot Wieland, Wong Kit Yi and others.
The intertwined relationship between nature and culture might be better understood by looking at the politics of nature throughout history. Can art encourage us to think beyond this division? Could viable alternatives to the conditions of the present day be found by embracing the embodied knowledge of other species or types of being? Learning by becoming – whether becoming a plant, an animal, or a mineral – allows us different sensibilities. Survival Kit 9 proposes future ecologies in which equality and rights are not limited to humankind.
“Can we develop a more holistic understanding of the world by avoiding human-centred learning processes and empathizing with other forms of existence? We live in a time characterized by populism, shortsighted nationalism and the ongoing exploitation of nature, therefore the 9th edition of the contemporary art festival Survival Kit begins from tactile and tacit experiences in order to seek the potential of alternative ways of learning and perceiving,” the festival’s curatorial team explains.
The curators of the international art festival point out that rather than staking claim to alternative facts, they wish to introduce elements of doubt – embracing the humility of not knowing while remaining willing to learn.
Survival Kit 9 will take place from 8 September to 1 October at the former building of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia. An especially broad programme of events will take place during the opening weekend of the festival from 8 to 10 September including guided tours with the curators, talks, discussions and other events. Media representatives interested in covering the festival, as well as for further information and partnership opportunities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +371 26486312 no later than 1 August.
About Survival Kit
The international contemporary art festival Survival Kit was born in 2009 as a reaction to the austerity caused by the economic crisis and has since continued to invite people to respond to changes taking place in the modern-day world and to reflect on various survival strategies. Every year artists are invited to explore a socially significant theme, whilst also considering alternative scenarios of survival. Each year the festival, which is attended by approximately 20,000 visitors, takes place at a different location – an empty building in Riga, thus manifesting its potential and possible development strategies