A look at the programme of the contemporary art festival “Survival K(n)it 7”

Already in its seventh year, the international contemporary art festival “Survival K(n)it 7” takes place in Riga, from September 4 to 20 offering a broad programme of events. Knitting, embedded in the wordplay of the title of “Survival K(n)it 7”, marks the theme of this year’s festival – the often invisible creative potential contained in everyday actions and things. Highlighting such seemingly mundane activities as embroidery, walking, cooking or cleaning, we draw attention to the choreography of everyday things, perceiving them as a special experience, as well as the ordinary which allows the extraordinary to happen.

The central event of the festival is the contemporary art exhibition in the former building of the National Library of Latvia (on Krišjāņa Barona street 14) with 40 artists from 18 countries taking part this year. One of the participants of the exhibition, Swedish artist and director Maria Loise Ekman has been dealing with the culture of everyday life and the ideology that constitutes it since the 1970s. In her drawings, paintings and films she questions the ideals of love and family entrenched in consumer culture, as well as traditional gender roles, creating short scenarios full of unrealised fantasies, seeming naivety and ambiguous seriousness. The series of photos by Ukrainian artist Anna Zvyagintseva to be displayed in the exhibition document almost unnoticeable objects or changes that remain in the Maidan – for example, misplaced cobblestones or bullet marks in the walls of buildings that bear witness to recent events in the otherwise orderly environment.

Kristaps Epners has been documenting his daily running routes for several years, turning to them again in his work for “Survival K(n)it 7”. Although at first running may seem like a monotonous activity, the artist admits that each time it reveals unusual details, diversifying the course of one and the same event. Latvian artist Andrejs Strokins meanwhile works on a kind of archaeology of the library building, documenting the things left behind by employees in the recently abandoned spaces – reader’s cards, extra copies of books, photographs, and creating from them new combinations.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of events, offering the festival visitors creative workshops, lectures, discussions, performances and walks. On the opening day of the festival, September 3, at 15.00 Iranian artist Dzamil Kamanger will make an embroidery performance in public space, while at 18.00 near the former building of the NLL Lithuanian artist Eglė Budvytytė’s performance “Choreography for the Running Male” will take place.

From September 4 to 10 the former building of the NLL will host “The Stitch Project” embroidery workshop. “The Stitch Project” is an international art project which uses the experience of handicraft to promote dialogue between artists and members of various minorities in the society. On the final day of the festival, September 20, artist David Bernstein’s storytelling performance “The Marble Man” will be held, expanding on the series of works with cooking spatulas displayed in the exhibition. Based on the idea of the unlimited possibilities of imagination David Bernstein transforms, lengthens, broadens the all-familiar kitchen utensil – spatula – thus adding ever new associations and possible meanings.

Artists of festival “Survival K(n)it 7”: Lawrence Abu Hamdan (UK), Erik Alalooga (EE), Bani Abidi (PK), David Bernstein (USA / EU), Arturs Bērziņš (LV), Juris Boiko (LV), Liena Bondare (LV), Kristians Brekte (LV), Eglė Budvytytė (LT), Nanna Debois Buhl (DK), Maria Loise Ekman (SE), Kristaps Epners (LV), Ester Fleckner (DK), Nilbar Güreş (TR), Kalle Hamm, Dzamil Kamanger (FI / IR), Gudrun Hasle (DK), Reinis Hofmanis, Dārta Hofmane (LV), Ingela Ihrman (SE), Flo Kasearu (EE), KLĪGA (LV), Andreja Kulunčic (HR), Kalle Laar (DE), Johanna Lecklin (FI), Hardijs Lediņš (LV), Inga Meldere (LV), Robertas Narkus (LT), Katrīna Neiburga (LV), Ingrīda Pičukāne (LV), Jura Shust (BY / BE), Sandra Strēle (LV), Andrejs Strokins (LV), Iiu Susiraja (FI), Vladimirs Svetlovs (LV), Ginta Tinte Vasermane (LV), Anna Volkova (LV), Anna Zvyagintseva (UA), Imants Žodžiks (LV), Okin Collective (KR), Stitch projects (NO).

Festival “Survival K(n)it 7” will be opened on September 3 at 19.00. The contemporary art exhibition will run from September 4 to 20 on weekdays (except Mondays) from 14 to 20 and holidays from 12 to 19. The event is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, curated by Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce. Partners: What, How & for Whom/WHW (Zagreb), Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), Riga Urban Institute, Museums Revealed (Riga).

For more detailed programme of the festival’s events and information about the artists visit the festival’s homepage: www.survivalkit.lv

Survival k(n)it 7 is a part of a collaborative project "This is Tomorrow. Back to Basics: Forms and Actions in the Future" that is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The project is financially supported by State Culture Capital Foundation, Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Iaspis, Danish Arts Foundation, Frame Visual Arts Finland, Nordic Baltic Mobility Programme, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Finland, Danish Cultural Institute, City Council of Bergen, companies “Abnormal”, “Associates, Partners et Sons Direct”, “Kolonna”, “RedCab Taxi”, “Valmiermuižas alus”, “DIRECT paint shop - warehouse”, JRV Serviss, “Wok ToWalk”, “Coffee Inn”, “Akva D Life”.

Informative supporters: Radio “Naba”, Latvijas radio 1, magazines “IR”, “Studija”, “Veto”, internet media “Punctum Magazine”, “Satori”, “Delfi”, “Echo Gone Wrong”, kultura.lv, “Lettische Presseschau”, “Mums patīk”, “528”, "Riga This Week", television “Rīga 24”.

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