Friday, September 16, 6–8pm
September 17– November 5, 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 6:30–7:30pm
Art in General
Ground Floor Gallery
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Tue-Sat 12-6pm
Press Release: Download PDF
Art in General is pleased to present Sea of Living Memories, a New Commission by artist Ieva Epnere. The project is Epnere’s first institutional solo exhibition in the United States, and is presented in partnership with kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia as part of Art in General’s International Collaborations program.
In Epnere’s multidisciplinary practice—which includes film, photography, and sculpture—personal and private stories offer alternative pathways into larger meditations on identity, tradition, and ritual. Her new body of work, Sea of Living Memories, addresses the impermanent nature of identity in response to Latvia’s evolving post-Soviet society. For Epnere, fiction is a valuable instrument for exploring one’s sense of self, casting identification as the hybrid product of invented myth and historical narratives. The military heritage of the Baltic coast is of particular interest to her, as she investigates the struggles of former army personnel and local citizens—who came of age under a dominant Soviet regime—as they adapt to the new social realities of a contemporary system. In the exhibition’s central video work, Epnere highlights the delicate boundaries between individual and collective memory, and between nostalgia for the past and hope for the future, which are uniquely palpable in this formerly restricted region. An additional selection of videos serves as an archive of the artist’s research, presenting first-person narratives as told by residents of the Baltic coast.
In this exhibition, the installation elements serve as material reminders of the Soviet legacy, while internalized, psychological imprints of a restrictive past maintain a more ephemeral presence of equal weight and unwavering impact. Here, the geopolitical and personal collide as the familiarity of nationalist sentiments of “belonging” to the state come into contact with a globalized world. Epnere channels this dualism in the projection of desires back and forth in time, as the current generation lives double lives, navigating varying conditions and truths simultaneously, locally and elsewhere.
Ieva Epnere (b. 1977) lives and works in Riga, Latvia. Recent solo shows include Pyramiden and other stories, Zacheta Project Room, Warsaw, Poland (2015); A No-Man’s Land, An Everyman’s Land, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga and Liepaja Museum, Liepaja, Latvia (2015); Waiting Room, Contretype, Brussels (2015); Galerie des Hospices, Canet-en-Roussillon, France (2014). Group exhibitions include Contemporary Landscape, Art Festival Cēsis 2016, Latvia (2016); 62nd International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany (2016); Identity: Behind the Curtain of Uncertainty, National Art Museum of Ukraine (2016); Something eerie, Signal – Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden (2016); BRUXELLES à l’infini, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles à Paris, France (2016); SALON DER ANGST, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2013). Epnere is a Fall 2016 resident at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York.
Press contact: Lindsey Berfond
Art in General was founded in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.
General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; 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 Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; The Greenwich Collection; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters Richard Massey, and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Taymour Grahne, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Leslie Ruff, and Diana Wege.
Additional support for kim? Contemporary Art Centre has been provided by Vita Liberte, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Foundation, and Riga City Council. The artist would like to thank the Latvian National Armed Forces, Latvian Navy Flotilla, Nicolaus Schafhausen, VFS Films, and Sunsstudio for their support.