Starting August 25, contemporary art festivals in the Baltic region kick-off. The 14th Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania and the Contemporary Art Festival Survival Kit 14 in Latvia are sister exhibitions co-curated by Alicia Knock and Inga Lāce under the title “Long-distance Friendships.” The Kaunas Biennial runs from August 25 through October 29 in Kaunas, and Survival Kit will take place in Riga from September 7 through October 8.
The curators speak of transnational solidarity, resistance, and recovery, emphasizing that in times of geopolitical division international alliances should be based on friendship and solidarity, not power and market dynamics. The exhibition will focus on the historical relationship between Africa and Eastern Europe, taking a micro-historical approach to the history of colonialism and war by using abandoned post offices, deserted parks, and marketplaces in both cities and recalling the stories of the people who used them.
The Henry Moore Institute presents the group exhibition “The Weight of Words” through November 26. Featured contemporary artists and writers explore the overlap between sculpture and poetry. Sculpture’s concerns with weight, materiality, form, and arrangement mingle with the poetic impulse to give words depth and presence.
The moods range from humor to haunting, and while some works explicitly involve language, others address the unspeakable to reveal experiences beyond verbal expression. Poetry and sculpture collide, disrupting conventional ways of reading texts and adding new meanings and dimensions to words.
The exhibition presents ways to read, think, and write in three dimensions. In conjunction with the show’s opening, a new poem by author c (B. 1973) was unveiled on the exterior wall of the museum building.
Participating artists include Caroline Bergvall & Ciarán Ó Meachair, Pavel Büchler, Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo, Tim Etchells, Simone Fattal & Etel Adnan, Shilpa Gupta, Emma Hart, Leslie Hewitt, Bhanu Kapil, Issam Kourbaj, Glenn Ligon, Shanzhai Lyric, Mark Manders, Joo Yeon Park, Doris Salcedo, Slavs & Tatars, and Parviz Tanavoli.
The National Art Museum of Reina Sofia presents “Cine(so)matrix,” a retrospective exhibition by German video artist Angela Melitopoulos (b. 1961) through September 18. The show starts with the artist’s ongoing project ‘Matri-Linear B’ and presents her journey with the video medium since 1999.
Melitopoulos documents places through video, exploring memory, perception, and the formation of collective historical awareness. Attentive to the historical and technical conditions of video, she has used the medium to address specific social phenomena such as the resistance of migrant communities in Europe to preserve their memories, territorial disputes against extractivism in Greece, and the presence of animism in Japan’s technological society. Melitopoulos sees video images as visual memory rather than records of reality. She experiments with the structure of video installations and uses video as an essay.
Recently, Melitopoulos has named her unique way of working with space, sound, and image the “cine(so)matrix.” This exhibition is an essay on her experimental video form, and also a major retrospective of the artist who occupies an important place in contemporary video art.