The fourth – and the most extensive of all – contemporary art festival “Survival Kit” concluded on September 16th. Bringing together more than 50 collaboration partners and supporters, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art managed to organize over 30 special events, involving 91 artists form 17 countries.
For the first time in the history of “Survival Kit”, which was based in Riga, in the previous premises of Tobacco Factory, the festival had partners in Sigulda, Tukums and Aizpute, resulting in satellite-exhibitions and residencies for artists from abroad.
Johanna Hästö, the Swedish artist that surprised Latvia with her performance “Zipper Suit”, when returning to her home in Umeå, writes: “On my way back to Sweden, a guy working in the airport recognized me (even without the zipper suit). He told me that he had seen the injury on my thumb and remembered that I had had a plaster when I was on his flight a week before. Moreover, he told me that the captain of the plane had been so excited, when he saw the zipper suit, that he had searched the Internet to find more about me and found “Survival Kit”. The guy said that everyone in the staff was thrilled and that it was a wonderful experience!”
The art curator and historian Elita Ansone comments on “Survival Kit”: “The festival was truly extensive and saturated. I was especially moved by the art work “Truth is simple” by Kate Krolle and Atis Jekabsons; however each and every one of the artists deserves recognition. When pondering on the subject of “downshifting”, I consider it an important theme in this day and age that has to settle in our subconsciousness to help us find means of how to slow down our every-day pace.”
The first “Survival Kit” was organized in 2009 as a reaction to the changes brought by the economic crisis in Latvia. The focus of the second festival in 2012 was new initiatives and creative quartals, whereas the third “Survival Kit” concentrated on the prediction and modeling of the future. Next year the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art plans to organize the fifth “Survival Kit”, introducing a fresh new focus that is essential to the society. The festival is constantly growing in order to become one the most popular and extensive art events in 2014 when Riga will be the Culture Capital of Europe.