The eight edition of Survival Kit festival to open in Riga

Survival Kit

Survival Kit 8
8 – 25 September, 2016

This year, in response to observations and current affairs, the Survival Kit will focus on the acupuncture of society, viewing our modern-day society as a body and searching for and locating its most painful points. In addition to the main exhibition, special attention will be devoted to putting together a varied programme of events, which will offer meditation workshops and shamanistic performances led by artists, pseudo-religious film screenings and critical multidisciplinary discussions. The festival is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Inga Lāce, one of the exhibition curators, notes: “Acupuncture, as a metaphor for testing the sensitive societal zones, has not been selected randomly. During the last few years, our society has grown increasingly more interested in alternative medicine, esotericism and suggestion. Eastern spiritualism is becoming ever more present in today’s techno-utopian world. Could this interest be interpreted as an escape from reality, a new lifestyle accessory or a key to an alternative survival, all along knowing that the tools and methods currently at our disposal no longer offer the desired result?”

“The recent societal interest in alternative medicine and esotericism is viewed critically, evaluating how initially spiritual practices like yoga are increasingly being commercialised. At the same time, the festival will address esoteric ideas as a phenomenon of counterculture, highlighting their holistic potential,” notes curator Inga Lāce. “It is not surprising that many artists include references to spiritualism and esotericism in their oeuvre, both seeking creative impulses and ironically referring to contemporary society’s obsession with the ‘new spirituality’. The exhibition will offer an insight into the knowledge of shamans and witches. Also, visitors will have the opportunity to undergo hypnosis, to get acquainted with the effects of psychotropic plants, to meditate under magic symbols and to unveil the magic tricks of the modern-day financial market,” adds curator Solvita Krese.

The home of this year’s Survival Kit 8 will be C. C. von Stritzky’s villa at Aristida Briāna Street 9, which can be likened to a phoenix being reborn in the cultural space of Riga. Solvita Krese, another curator of the festival, explains this choice of location: “Survival Kit has always been engaged in urban mapping – it follows developments and changes that take place in the city. We came across this historical monument, C. C. von Stritzky’s villa, which has been empty and abandoned since 2000 but now, thanks to well-meaning guardians, has begun to re-establish itself as a new cultural location in Riga. It has tremendous potential.”

Participants of the festival:
Valentina Desideri, Miķelis Fišers, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, Chiara Fumai, Goldin+Senneby, Vivienne Griffin, Kaspars Groševs, Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson, Paul Philipp Heinze, J&K, Atis Jākobsons, Marte Johnslien, Ieva Kraule, Agnese Krivade, Kate Krolle, Linards Kulless, Myriam Lefkowitz, Géraldine Longueville, Marcos Lutyens, Cian McConn, Shana Moulton, Christoph Mühlau, Katrīna Neiburga, Lea Porsager, Katarzyna Przezwańska, Floris Schönfeld, Melissa Steckbauer, Magda Tothova, Žanis Valdheims, Artūrs Virtmanis, Reinis Virtmanis, Suse Wächter.

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