About SURVIVAL KIT

In September, for already the ninth year the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art will be holding the largest annual contemporary art event in the Baltics SURVIVAL KIT. This year it has been titled “Becoming an Apricot * an Apple * a Crow * a Tree * a Cockroach * a Glacier * a Plant * a Mushroom * a Shell * a Bird * Algae ”, and will be directed towards the broadening of perception and learning from nature.

The curatorial team by Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce reveal that the participants of this year's international art exhibition will include Maria Thereza Alves, Laurie Anderson, Jonathas de Andrade, Lotta Antonsson, Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Juris Boiko, Andris Eglītis, Ieva Epnere, Annika Eriksson, Andris Grīnbergs, Laima Žurgina, Jim Holyoak, Nona Inescu, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Christine Ödlund, Jean Painlevé, Andrej Polukord, Krišs Salmanis, Ehsan Ul Haq, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, James Webb, Gernot Wieland, Wong Kit Yi and others.

The intertwined relationship between nature and culture might be better understood by looking at the politics of nature throughout history. Can art encourage us to think beyond this division? Could viable alternatives to the conditions of the present day be found by embracing the embodied knowledge of other species or types of being? Learning by becoming – whether becoming a plant, an animal, or a mineral – allows us different sensibilities. SURVIVAL KIT 9 proposes future ecologies in which equality and rights are not limited to humankind.

Can we develop a more holistic understanding of the world by avoiding human-centred learning processes and empathizing with other forms of existence? We live in a time characterized by populism, shortsighted nationalism and the ongoing exploitation of nature, therefore the 9th edition of the contemporary art festival Survival Kit begins from tactile and tacit experiences in order to seek the potential of alternative ways of learning and perceiving,” the curatorial team of the festival explains.

The curators of the international art festival point out that rather than staking claim to alternative facts, they wish to introduce elements of doubt – embracing the humility of not knowing while remaining willing to learn.

SURVIVAL KIT 9 will take place from 8 September to 1 October at the former building of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia. An especially broad programme of events will take place during the opening weekend of the festival from 8 to 10 September including guided tours with the curators, talks, discussions and other events. Media representatives interested in covering the festival, as well as for further information and partnership opportunities please contact marta.krivade[@]lcca.lv, tel. +371 26486312.

Established in 2009, SURVIVAL KIT is the biggest contemporary art event in the Baltics, attracting more than 10 000 visitors every year. It arose in reaction to the economic crisis in Latvia with the aim of calling on society to respond to changes in the contemporary world and consider various survival strategies. Each year, a socially relevant and important theme is selected for the festival. Empty buildings in Riga are used as festival venues, thus offering new development strategies in urban planning.