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Art in General is thrilled to be co-curating the Latvian Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennale with long-time partner kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia. The Biennale exhibition, titled North by Northeast, presents new site-specific works by Latvian artists Kaspars Podnieks and Krišs Salmanis. Through the exploration of the artists’ relationship to the natural and ever shifting man-made world – including perceived borders and centers in Europe – Podnieks and Salmanis investigate and highlight the concepts and conditions of identity, uncertainty, and in-betweeness.
Kaspars Podnieks (b.1980) has been participating in exhibitions since 1998. His work encompasses photography, video, installations, and environmental objects. His most recent group exhibitions include: Generation of the Place: Image, Memory and Fictions in Baltics (2012) in Kaunas, Lithuania; Preview Berlin (2011) in Berlin, Germany; Life in the Forest (2011) in Bialystok, Poland and solo exhibitions Unusual Place(2010) and Communicating Vessels (2011) at kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia. Since 2005 Kaspars Podnieks has taken part in social and political activities in his home village Drusti – being a deputy of Drusti Council (since 2005), a Drusti Council chairman’s legal representative (since 2007) and a deputy of Rauna’s region (since 2010).
Krišs Salmanis (b.1977) works with photography, video, installations, animation and graphics and has participated in exhibitions internationally since 1996. His latest solo exhibitions include: Light (2012) in CAC Vilnius, Lithuania; The Fragility of Trust (2012) at gallery Alma in Riga, Latvia; The Earth may be spinning around the Sun, but the World is turning around me (2011) Raum linksrechts in Hamburg, Germany; and Moving Landscape (2011) at Galerie fűr Gegenwartskunst in Bremen, Germany. Since 2008 Krišs Salmanis has contributed articles on contemporary art processes for the visual arts magazine Studija and contributes to other daily press on a regular basis.
kim? Contemporary Art Centre resides in a red 19th-century brick warehouse located near the Riga Central Market. The name of kim? is no less than an abbreviation of an insistent question “what is art?" (“kas ir māksla?” in Latvian). Founded in 2009, the organization offers a certain range of activities including exhibitions, lectures, talks, public library, publications and other events related to recent art, theory and social issues introduced by the means of a local and international corpus of ideas, beliefs and individuals. kim? supports the development of emerging artists, theoreticians, curators, philosophers and others, aiming to provide a responsive context to their work and to make those critical practices accessible to a wider audience. www.kim.lv
Art in General thanks Venice Committee members Ilze Jurkane, Regine Deicmane, Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka, Keith Recker and James Mohn, Robin Sapanski, Scott and Caroline Muller, and Katharine Kuharic and Bonnie Edwards for all their support.
General support of Art in General is provided by General Tools & Instruments LLC; the Lambent Fund of the Tides Foundation; Abraham and Lillian Rosenberg Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; ConEdison; The Greenwich Collection; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; Select Equity Group Foundation; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; and Affirmation Arts Fund. Support has also been provided by Commissioners’ Circle leaders Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters Sandra Ho and Jang Kim, and Cher Lewis, and Commissioners’ Circle members Roya Khadjavi Heidari, Sean Johnson, Mary Lapides, Richard Massey, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, Joyce Siegel, and Jeremy E. Steinke.
Additional special event support provided by Effen Vodka, Old Grand Dad Whiskey, Hornitos Tequila, and ROOT [Drive-In].
The Eastern European Residency Exchange Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.