Festival Survival Kit

For the eighth year in a row, the international contemporary art festival Survival Kit will take place in Riga. This year, from September 8 to 25, audiences will have an opportunity to visit a voluminous art exhibition and participate in a broad programme of events, which will entail film screenings, discussions, performances and other events. The festival this year will address acupuncture as a metaphor for determining the painful points of contemporary society and will gather approximately thirty Latvian and foreign artists. The key venue of this year’s festival is C. C. von Stritzky's villa at Aristida Briāna Street 9 in Riga, which for a long period of time was abandoned but is currently experiencing its revival as a new cultural hotspot in the city. The festival is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and is curated by Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce.

“The recent societal interest in alternative medicine and esotericism is viewed critically, evaluating how initially spiritual practices like yoga are increasingly being commercialised. At the same time, the festival will address esoteric ideas as a phenomenon of counterculture, highlighting their holistic potential,” notes curator Inga Lāce. “It is not surprising that many artists include references to spiritualism and esotericism in their oeuvre, both seeking creative impulses and ironically referring to contemporary society’s obsession with the ‘new spirituality’. The exhibition will offer an insight into the knowledge of shamans and witches. Also, visitors will have the opportunity to undergo hypnosis, to get acquainted with the effects of psychotropic plants, to meditate under magic symbols and to unveil the magic tricks of the modern-day financial market,” adds curator Solvita Krese.

Participants of the festival: Miķelis Fišers, Kaspars Groševs, Atis Jākobsons, Ieva Kraule, Agnese Krivade un Kate Krolle, Linards Kulless, Svens Kuzmins, Katrīna Neiburga, Žanis Valdheims, Artūrs Virtmanis, Reinis Virtmanis, Elita Ansone, Valentina Desideri (NL), Gabríela Friðriksdóttir (IS), Chiara Fumai (IT), Goldin+Senneby (SE), Vivienne Griffin (IRL/UK), Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson (IS), Paul Philipp Heinze (DE), J&K (DE/DK), Marte Johnslien (NO), Myriam Lefkowitz (FR), Géraldine Longueville (FR), Marcos Lutyens (USA), Cian McConn (IRL), Pádraic E. Moore (IE), Shana Moulton (USA), Christoph Mühlau (DE), Lea Porsager (DK), Katarzyna Przezwańska (PL), Floris Schönfeld (USA/NL), Melissa Steckbauer (USA), Magda Tothova (SK), Dovile Tumpyte (LT), Suse Wächter (DE), Simon van der Weele (NL) & Hannah Klaubert (DE).

The international contemporary art festival Survival Kit was born in 2009 as a reaction to the austerity caused by the economic crisis and has since continued to invite people to respond to changes taking place in the modern-day world and to reflect on various survival strategies. Every year artists are invited to explore a socially significant theme, whilst also considering alternative scenarios of survival. Each year the festival, which is attended by approximately 15,000 visitors, takes place at a different location – an empty building in Riga, thus manifesting its potential and possible development strategies.

More information: www.survivalkit.lv