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Riga Biennial Announces Theme of First Edition

RIGA, LATVIA—The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art has announced the curatorial concept for its inaugural edition, launching June 2, 2018. The exhibition will be titled “Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More,” referencing anthropologist Alexei Yurchak’s book of the same name, which discusses the collapse of the Soviet Union and the nature of change. Curated by Katerina Gregos, the biennial invites artists from the Baltic and Nordic regions, as well as international artists, to engage with the phenomenon of change as a constant and imperceptible process.

According to Gregos, the exhibition will focus on issues that range from the impact of rapid advancements in science and technology to the negotiation of crises of ecology, capitalism, and democracy. “Many of these changes have radically altered the way we experience the world and have undermined—or overridden—all of our senses except vision,” Gregos said in a statement. “A part of the exhibition will also thus refocus on the sensorium—the sum of the human organism’s perceptive tools—creating moments that trigger the senses that have been marginalized, allowing for a much-needed deceleration of perception. The first Riga Biennial aims to paint a political, but also personal and existential, portrait of the unprecedented times we live in and to relate the tectonic shifts that are taking place in the public as well as private realm today.”

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October 9, 2017