Sculpture Quadrennial Riga 2012 Anatomy of Integration


Production: Centre for Art Management and Information (MMIC)

Curators: Aigars Bikše, Ivars Drulle, Inese Baranovska

21st century is the age of the general globalisation due to general migration and other factors so the convergence of people, languages and cultures becomes inevitable; therefore it was time to start active discussion on how to keep the national self-confidence, culture and language.

There was five problematic situations in regard to which the issue of integration was activated:

  1. Integration of multiple community society within one state (Latvia, Belgium, Spain etc.). There are several member states in the EU where several significant communities of language and culture live side by side, often living parallel with their own relative information space;
  2. Political refugees (inhabitants of Africa and Far East);
  3.  Migrants of unfavourable economic conditions (Third world countries);
  4.  Ethnic groups – Roma and Jews.
  5. Integration of different religions

Sculpture Quadrennial Riga 2012 aim was to explore the issue of how to promote the integration of these different ethnic groups often in a relatively new country, at the same time helping them to keep their national self-confidence, culture, religion and language. Generally each state, nation and culture has its own historical experience related to this issue and by exchanging this experience we can learn to deal with this situation in our own environment.

The inner motivation of the organisers of the festival upon the making the choice of the theme was its topicality in Latvia. Namely, the citizens of Latvia and inhabitants of it make the unity that is mainly bilingual: about a half speaks Latvian and the other half – Russian. Besides, there are some other communities of language, culture and religion. These cultures live on their own as if in a parallel space of information. Latvia has always been a borderland of great imperia – the west borderline of the Tsarist Russia and later the USSR, the furthest east point of German’s influence and now the east borderline of EU and NATO. Riga has always been on a crossroad and battleground between different powers and cultures, with a dream of universal culture.

Our wish was to have the quadrennial pieces of art as a ”hot potato”, which stimulates to think, discuss and analyse the issue of integration from the most different aspects.