Signaling Pairs, a joint work by Latvian poet and artist Artūrs Punte and Russian new media artist Aleksey Grishchenko, is open for viewing at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art’s Office Gallery from 12th July until 3rd August.
The exposition is made up of small light diode screens in which images are lit up by thousands of small light-bulbs. What is being portrayed can be understood if the viewer steps back, or by looking at the reflected image on the screen, which is reflected onto another specially prepared surface. The little light-bulbs can be perceived as the provider of the signal and the reflected image as a confirmation of receiving the signal.
The concept for the exhibition arose a number of years ago, when Artūrs Punte created some sound poems, recording various sounds in cities at night. Captivated by the romantic sparkling, which the operation of advertising lights, traffic lights, alarm lights, port flashing lights and railway signals created in the city environment, he developed a collection of video recordings which captured the lonely signals as a confirmation of existence. But the little lights captured in the video lost their wonderful liveliness, so an alternative format was sought for reconstructing the feelings which arose while wandering alone in the city at night. A special, homemade video camera, combined with a light diode screen was created in collaboration with Aleksey Grishchenko. Artūrs Punte admits that it sooner destroys than creates the image. One can only sense the landscape which has been recorded in the images, and this is what interests the artist the most – the boundary when the image can no longer be discerned and the moment when it can still pass the message on.
Artūrs Punte, one of the members of the Orbīta group of poets, studied literature at the Moscow Literature Institute. His book Poētiskie veltījumi [Poetic Homages], which was published by Orbīta in 2013, received awards in various competitions, including the Zelta Ābele [Golden Apple] Book Competition and the Baltic Books Art Competition. Artūrs Punte’s works have been displayed at the Cēsis Art Festival, the Rīgas Dzejas karte [Rīga Poetry Map] Project exhibitions, the Survival Kit Contemporary Art Festival and elsewhere. The exhibition’s co-author Aleksey Grishchenko lives and works in Novosibirsk, Russia where he graduated from the Novosibirsk Technology Institute. Artūrs Punte comments that: “To me it seems significant that science and art in Novosibirsk are very close. If you are born there, you will most likely graduate from a technical faculty, which will be engineering, programming or construction, but not the humanitarian branch. The artists too have attained a strong technological education, and Aleksejs is one of them. He is a media artist who works with technological solutions, and creates them himself.”
The exhibition is open for viewing until 3rd August. Supporters: Rīga City Council and the State Culture Capital Foundation.