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06 Nov 2020

'I Remember, Therefore I Am. Unwritten Stories: Women Artists' Archives'

'I Remember, Therefore I Am. Unwritten Stories: Women Artists' Archives'
Latvian Center for Contemporary Art


Opening: 14.11.2020


Latvian National Museum of Art
Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1
Rīga LV-1010

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14.11.2020, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga
Curator: Andra Silapētere, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Artist: Rita Einberga, Laima Eglīte, Maija Eliase, Mudīte Gaiševska, Ruta Kreica, Rasa Kalniņa-Grīnberga, Olga Neimane-Kateņeva, Anni Puolakka, Marta Trektere, Evita Goze, Rasa Jansone, Liliana Piskorska

The exhibition “I Remember, Therefore I Am. Unwritten Stories: Women Artists’ Archives” organized by the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art will be on display in the 4th floor exhibition halls of the Latvian National Museum of Art. The exhibition will bring to the fore different possibilities of interpreting art history through the experiences of women artists in the context of art, social and political events during the Soviet period.

An opinion that has been already long-established is that in writing world history, within the framework of the dominant patriarchal and hetero-normative social structures women’s experiences have continuously been “omitted”. The current socio-political events on the global stage, especially as revealed by the pandemic, also point out a necessity to change familiar views on world order by shaping a more open, inclusive and equal society. Despite determined attempts to change prevailing views, there has been a continuous need to produce new knowledge that would emphasis the ignored stories. It also raises the question why do we continuously forget and marginalize the achievements of women? 

By re-examining events in Latvia and Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century, which are marked by the Soviet period and its cultivated illusion of “gender equality”, the exhibition will offer opportunities for interpreting the recent past, by turning against the established hierarchies in shaping historical narratives. The exhibition will expand different artistic practices, facts, memories, human and aesthetic values, which can comment not only on the position and influence of women artists in the social and cultural scene, but can also reveal new stories of our shared history.

The core of this exhibition is the artists Rita Einberga (1921–1979), Laima Eglīte (1945), Maija Eliase (1924–1991), Mudīte Gaiševska (1935), Ruta Kreica (1946), Rasa Kalniņa-Grīnberga (1936) and Olga Neimane-Kateņeva (1908–2001). Each of them represents different artistic strategies which are linked to the alternative culture and attempts of diversifying visual language, as well as to the range of creative interests within the official art scene. Whereas considering questions of feminism and gender in present-day context, original works specifically for the exhibition will be created by the artists Anni Puolakka (Finland) and Marta Trektere, Evita Goze, Rasa Jansone, Liliana Piskorska (Poland).

The exhibition project is a collective research initiative which links ten researchers, with the purpose of understanding the ways how and what we can learn if we unite our knowledge, abilities and skills, and thereby bringing to attention questions of solidarity from the historical and today’s perspective. What shared considerations or circumstances can encourage the process of working together? What are the different approaches to knowledge that we can gain about our past in this way?

Research group: Evita Goze, Rasa Jansone, Toms Ķencis, Ieva Laube, Ieva Melgalve, Justīne Savicka, Paula Stutiņa, Terēza Šulca, Iliāna Veinberga

Curator of the education programme: Māra Žeikare (LCCA), Graphic design by: Evija Pintāne, Exhibition design by: Liene Mackus and Artūrs Arnis

Project Coordinators: Adele Bea Cipste, Margarita Ogoļceva (LCCA) and Ieva Kalnača (LNMA)

Head of Communication: Paula Jansone (LCCA), Gunta Turnele (LCCA)

The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Culture Capital Foundation, FRAME Contemporary Art Finland.

The exhibition is a part of Not Yet Written Stories – Women Artists’ Archives Online, an international research project funded by Creative Europe, in which LCCA collaborates with the Arton Foundation in Warsaw (leader of the project) and the partners: SCCA – Centre for Modern Art in Ljubljana and Office for Photography in Croatia. The aim of the project is to include the works of  women artists into public discourse about visual arts in order to avert their further discrimination and mostly elimination from the European history of art.