International Contemporary Art Festival ‘Survival Kit’

‘Survival Kit’ is an annual art festival that has run since 2009, when it began as a reaction to the global economic crisis which forced the public to find new strategies of survival and encouraged artists to discover fresh means of existence. In 2014 it will take place from 4 September to 21 September.

‘Survival Kit’ is an annual art festival that has run since 2009, when it began as a reaction to the global economic crisis which forced the public to find new strategies of survival and encouraged artists to discover fresh means of existence. Previously the festival has represented works by such artists as Oliver Ressler (Austria), Harun Farocki (Germany), The Yes Men (USA), Gabriel Lester (Netherlands) and other internationally well-known authors.

‘Survival Kit’ is curated by Solvita Krese, the director of the LCCA. In 2014 it is co-curated by Aneta Szylak, the director of Wyspa Institut of Art in Gdańsk, Poland. This year the festival is also a significant contribution to the programme of Riga as the European Capital of Culture. For the first time the festival will also take place in Umeå, Sweden.

In 2014 the theme of the festival is ‘The Utopian City’, which invites to view the city as a complex and incomplete structure, a place that does not exist. Which would be the best possible or perhaps impossible city model, where the spatial, political and social dimensions harmoniously complement each other? Looking for references in utopian visions by Plato and Thomas More, as well as revisiting Campanella’s City of the Sun or architectural utopias by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Étienne-Louis Boullée, we find ourselves in relatively recent past, which is characterised by attempts at modernist utopias, the splendour and misery of Marxist ideas, as well as an awareness of alternative living spaces and places proposed by various subcultures.

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