Ilmārs Blumbergs’ solo exhibition “A Prayer for Seeing”
31 March – 30 April 2005
Photography, installation, drawings, DVD film “Cilvēks/The Man”
Ilmārs Blumbergs’ solo exhibition “A Prayer for Seeing” concludes a wide-ranging exhibition project. The project started at the Riga Gallery two years ago with the artist’s exhibition “Drawings are in the Box”, continuing at Tartu Art Museum. The exhibition partly showed themes and ideas that appeared later in Venice – during the artist’s exhibition at San Ludovico Church in 2004, awarded with the Great Prize of the Year 2004 of the Artists’ Union of Latvia. Exposition at the Riga Gallery provides expanded and complemented series of large-size photographs, installations, drawings and a DVD film.
Ilmārs Blumbergs who can be considered as the most powerful representative of mythological thinking in Latvian art, is always concerned with the subject of human being and the “unbearable fragility” of his/her existence experienced by everybody during the course of one’s life. Life and death are objects explored in Blumbergs’ art, including stage design, easel works, book illustrations and prints. If the exhibition “Drawings are in the Box” emphasises the value of each individual’s personality, “A Prayer for Seeing” reveals prayer as addressed to everybody capable to appreciate and hear this individual world.
Ten large-size photographs depicting male torso form the centre of exposition. The artist has rubbed, scratched and polished these photographs by hand. Photographs are complemented by an installation from coal, books burned in today’s Latvia and 30 bronze pairs of prayers’ feet cast in wax forms and finished by the artist.
Ilmārs Blumbergs’ film in DVD format “Cilvēks/The Man” is demonstrated for the first time in public at this Riga Gallery show (music by Jānis Petraškevičs, script by Ilmārs Blumbergs and Ivars Runkovskis). The artist explores the course of human life from birth to death in his particular mode.
Going to Venice to organise his exhibition there, the artist knew he would like to draw this city. During his stay that lasted for two months, he made new works especially for the solo exhibition at the Riga Gallery. They are included in two small, “pocket-size” albums created almost in the open air. Later in Riga they were transformed in 72 drawings, exhibited together with photographs at the gallery. Small-size drawings based on Minimalist aesthetics were inspired by photographs, captured by the artist as tourist, interested in everything related to this amazing city. They depict the beautiful Italian woman, lagoon in the mist, silhouette of a gondola or a cypress in the night, flood in the streets of Venice, interior of a famous café at Piazza San Marco, palazzo chandeliers and, of course, the omnipresent death. The exposition features a selection of 43 photographs.
Venice as a symbol of eternity and destruction has inspired many artists, including, for example, Luchino Visconti and Joseph Brodsky. Ilmārs Blumbergs has been one of them already since 2001 when he shot the film “The Magic Flute” (director Viesturs Kairišs) that represented Latvia at the 49th Venice Biennial.
Exhibition curator: Inese Riņķe
Exhibition is supported by: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council Culture Board, Rietumu Bank and Noass
Gallery opening hours: 12.00 – 19.00 except Sundays
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