The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) is an international biennial with a European focus and a strong regional profile, founded in 2016. Taking the rich history of Riga and the Baltic states as its underlying framework, the Biennial highlights the artistic landscape of the wider region and creates opportunities for artists to enter into dialogue with the cultural, historical and socio-political context of the city and its geographic surrounds.
Taking into account criticisms of the proliferation of biennial culture, or ‘biennialisation’ as it has been called, RIBOCA aims to create a sustainable model based on best practices that prioritise artists, artistic production and the meticulous presentation and mediation of art. The Biennial is based on a working process that starts from the local, expanding to the national and the regional, and finally to the transnational. The Biennial aims to take root and make roots in the place where it is situated. Reflecting the biennial’s global outlook and mission to increase artistic engagement between the Baltic region and the rest of the world, a significant proportion of the commissioned and selected artists either live, work or were born in the Baltic region, a territory which still remains relatively unexplored despite its prolific artistic production.
RIBOCA sees itself as a critical site of artistic experimentation and knowledge production, an activator of co-operation and exchange between local and regional actors and institutions, an instigator of generosity towards peers, and a barometer of current social, political and economic issues filtered through artistic practices.
Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) was founded as a major initiative of the Riga Biennial Foundation, its commissioning body. RIBOCA was developed in order to set up a new global platform for international and Baltic artists, to promote contemporary art and provide educational and community support within the region, as well as to increase artistic engagement between the Baltic region and the rest of the world.
Riga has been an important trading post since the Middle Ages, and in more recent history Latvia has served as a significant industrial base. Latvia’s historical relations with Sweden, Russia, Poland and Germany have put it at the crossroads of different cultures and ideologies, with its gaze shifting between East and West. RIBOCA charts the particular psychogeography of this region within the new world order at a time of major global shifts.Source: www.rigabiennial.com