Igaunijas Drāmas teātra galerija, Tallina, Igaunija
In 2014 Latvian Artists’ Union, Lithuanian Artists’ Association and Estonian Artists’ Association signed an agreement on cooperation in the fields of culture, art and education. The exhibition dedicated to the remembrance of barricades in 1991, would be already the second project of Latvian Artists’ Union’s collaboration with the Lithuanian Artists’ Association and the Estonian Artists’ Association. In 2014 there was a joint exhibition “KELIAS / CEĻŠ / KETT” displayed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
January 2016 marks 25 years since the events of barricades in 1991, when the independence supporters from Baltic countries were prepared to defend their freedom against potential military action and opponents of independence.
The project Barricades 2016 is intended as the combined exhibition with artworks from Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian artists. The first opening of the exhibition was in January 13, 2016 in Riga, Gallery of Latvian Artists’ Union.
The second opening of the exhibition was in June 1 in Vilnius, Sv.Jona Gallery.
Concept of the exhibition foreseed that each of the artists’ union – The Artists’ Union of Latvia, the Lithuanian Artists’ Association and the Estonian Artists’ Association, choosed their artists who represented each country in a single exhibition, combining for about 10 artworks from each country, representing artists’ emotions and feelings evoked by the events of 1991. We believe that the unstable situation in current world and the events of November 13, in Paris, for example, turned the page of history again, and it is important to look for moral power and spirituality from Barricades in today’s world and people.
President of the Artists’ Union of Latvia
From the opening speech in Riga: It is quite obvious that we were “absolute beginners” in year 1991.
Most of us were too young to have a real experience of life without an outside power. I think that I am not making a mistake when I say that the main reason for our clear vision of our identity lays in our culture. Visual arts, literature and music, these three pillars are to blame in keeping the spirit alive. Even without interfering directly into everyday politics art was the strong sours of strength and inner wisdom, as it can not be grasped with familiar tools. Art can not be institutionalized, it rebells against dark ages with its own fluid methods. What is a barricade?
Barricade is a defense structure and an abstract metaphysical door at the same time. The door that opens exclusively after a mental exertion, after the real effort for an evolution. In opposite case the decline is inevitable.
The mission of art is to point out all that is deeply important and create a vision for future.
Art is always a barricade.
Art is defending spirituality as much as it is revealing it. This is the concept that we have been aiming here now with the Estonian exposition in the context of our history and independence. At the same time with looking back and observing the whole abstract impact of the barricades and drawing the parallels into nowadays,when all this what the world`s current global political and military grip is proving and confirming is that there is no, and have never been, any spiritual evolution and never even existed any hope for it, we artists are still working in hope that our contemplation process can give generalized and timeless results: once again renewed visions of spirituality and free will. And in this visualization process we have the total freedom to be the absolute beginners.
Curator Estonian Artists Association Muhu A.I Residency project -manager