1.5 kilograms of life leaves space for accidents

  • 2013-10-31

RIGA - People have found it perpetually interesting to look for a balance in the processes of the world – how they react and influence each other to arrange things in a correct order, while at the same time evoking chaos in every single cell around us.
Evidently, these processes likewise play a pivotal role in art, where a mode of accident determines a line or color on canvas and releases the vastness of imagination. This duality is now presented at the exhibition hall Arsenals in Riga, as the new artist Zane Veldre displays her vision of uncertainty in the world, symbolically summing this journey up as “1.5 kg of life.”

Building her own artistic handwriting, Veldre has unified not only the elements of painting – her major at the Art Academy of Latvia – in her works, but also merged a graphic sign in this particular framework. Thus, this versatility promotes an abundant spectrum of colors and attractive lines which result in abstract compositions where the emphasis is no longer put on a narrative of the work or encoding, but on the viewer’s capability of hiding in their own manner of understanding or decoding. Arguably, such permission opens new horizons of seeing art, granting recognition for the artist’s creative account in various exhibitions, namely “City Children” (2010) and “Survival Kit 4” (2012), alongside with wall painting for “Chomsky” bar (2011) and “Robert’s Books” (2012).

Furthermore, “1.5 kg of life” continues the pattern and drags the audience into a mix of interpretations. Inspired by the Russian surrealist writer Daniil Kharms, who introduced one-and-a-half kilograms for the whole universe to interrogate the harmony of the world, Veldre looks at the ways in how to portray a concrete moment of decision-making in a person’s mind. “We are in a constant search, never achieving the supposed balance and peace,” the artist notes as she puts a question into the foreground in her exhibition, kindly asking the audience to decide – to visualize its place in the world, even though it may not be easy at all.

The art historian Dita Birkensteina adds that “The works of Zane Veldre are visionary stories about daily observed events, situations and people, who she meets with, feelings and reflection, which emerges from direct or mediated communication.” Thus, the interpretation demands a correlation between the artist and audience where art operates as a medium to trigger expressions nobody has been aware of. Even more, this collaboration appears at the base of conversation, which is about the decision-making, but – most importantly – which supports the aesthetic attraction between the communicators.

In the end, “1.5 kg of life” creates a strong revelation that every person is a part of a big, symbolic and natural system which actually never argues where our decisions exist, or if we are ever meant to make them by ourselves. If the balance is so significant, which line or color is that powerful to lead us to this balance? Is it even there? One has to be sure that Veldre’s paintings will not make the harmony of the world clearer. On the contrary – they will rely on the surrounding culture to make it even more difficult to define.

Yet, this is where the beauty of “1.5 kg of life” arises – when we decide our position we communicate with the work and gladly leave a space for the accident to come in and let the eye anchor a silhouette or form, or anything else which strengthens or changes how we perceive the system. Eventually, only then when we comprehend that we always remain a duality – fighting between order and chaos – that we may finally complete ourselves.

The exhibition is another attachment to modern culture in Latvia, perfect for those who like to query, theorize and make commitments to their own doubts and judgments. Linking philosophy and psychology, “1.5 kg” makes you wonder – gaze at the painting and figure out if you are there. You are, you will conclude, no matter how much time it will take for the accident to detect you.

On view until November 12 at Arsenals exhibition hall, Riga