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Betreff:        The Latvian Collection opens at Malmö Konstmuseum
Datum:  Thu, 24 Nov 2022 11:01:06 +0000
Von:    e-flux <i...@mailer.e-flux.com>

The Latvian Collection opens at Malmö Konstmuseum In which ways are museums and artists vehicles for nation state building? How does collection-buildi…

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/The Latvian Collection /


Malmö Konstmuseum



*/The Latvian Collection /*
December 2, 2022–April 16, 2023

*Malmö Konstmuseum*
Malmöhusvägen 6
SE-205 80 Malmö
*Hours:* Monday–Sunday 10am–5pm

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In which ways are museums and artists vehicles for nation state building? How does collection-building intertwine with cultural diplomacy and politics of countries?

The Latvian collection held by Malmö Konstmuseum was donated to the museum in 1939 and was on permanent display until 1958. The collection encompasses landscape paintings, portraits, still life, mythology, illustrations, set designs and images of war, from the 1930s as well as earlier periods.

The collection was intended to be representative of contemporary art in Latvia at the time. With Latvia gaining its independence in 1918, the collection of 50 artworks encapsulates a general shift in the zeitgeist towards thinking and developing ideas about what Latvia is through art. Marked by the authoritarian regime of Prime Minister Kārlis Ulmanis, who came to power following a coup in 1934, and the country’s subsequent cultural policy, the collection represents an inward gaze as well as National Romantic ideas praising Latvian soil and culture.

The exhibition /The Latvian Collection /presents the collection in its entirety for the first time since the 1950s, alongside eight new commissions by artists inspired by the collection and its history. The exhibition highlights overlooked narratives within the collection and looks at new ways of accessing the historic collection as a moment in time.

The exhibition addresses larger issues pertaining to nationalism and nation state building in the Baltic region, while acknowledging the fragility of smaller nation states and the way in which they can act as antidotes to imperialism. The starting point for the invited artists was to look at the collection and explore ways of thinking beyond nation states. Dreaming of new ways of organising something as fundamental as nation states is no easy task, and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24 February 2022 has made it almost impossible.

The newly commissioned works will become part of Malmö Konstmuseum’s permanent art collection, emerging as extensions and interpretations of the existing Latvian collection and providing windows into how the collection was perceived in 2022 for future curators, artists, and visitors. This will bring the collectionbuilding process forward in time to the present, taking it beyond the borders of the Latvian nation state.

Curated by Inga Lāce and Lotte Løvholm
Exhibition architect: Līva Kreislere
Graphic design: Rūta Jumīte

*Participating artists*
Makda Embaie, Ieva Epnere, Santiago Mostyn & Susanna Jablonski, Ieva Kraule-Kūna, Lada Nakonechna, Jaanus Samma, Anastasia Sosunova, Asbjørn Skou

*Artists in the original Latvian collection*
Jānis Aižēns, Augusts Annuss, Arturs Apinis, Jēkabs Apinis, Kārlis Baltgailis, Jānis Cielavs, Jānis Cīrulis, Elza Druja, Erna Dzelme-Bērziņa, Eduards Dzenis, Otomija Freiberga, Jāzeps Grosvalds, Arvīds Gusārs, Eduards Kalniņš, Kārlis Krauze, Valdemārs Krastiņš, Jānis Kuga, Ludolfs Liberts, Milda Liepiņa, Jānis Liepiņš, Jūlijs Madernieks, Marija Induse-Muceniece, Oskars Norītis, Jānis Plēpis, Janis Rozentāls, Pēteris Rožlapa, Ārijs Skride, Oto Skulme, Uga Skulme, Jānis Šternbergs, Arvīds Štrauss, Niklāvs Strunke, Erasts Šveics, Leo Svemps, Zelma Tālberga, Jānis Tīdemanis, Valdemārs Tone, Konrāds Ubāns, Johann Walter, Vilis Vasariņš, Ernests Veilands, Sigismunds Vidbergs, Vilhelms Purvītis, Kārlis Zāle, Teodors Zaļkalns, Rihards Zariņš

The exhibition /The Latvian Collection /is organized in collaboration with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) in Riga. It is also part of the project “From Complicated Past Towards Shared Futures”, a collaboration between the LCCA, the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (Lithuanian National Museum of Art), OFF-Biennale in Budapest, Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, and Malmö Konstmuseum, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, and Region Skåne.






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