Visiting our partner – the Riga Ghetto & Holocaust Museum – from right to the left –
Zintars Zilgalvis, Betija Zilgalvis, Rabbi Menachem Barkahan
One of our first actions was visiting our partners Riga Ghetto & Latvian Holocaust Museum and association SHAMIR (holder of the museum), represented by its chairman Rabbi Menachem Barkahan. We were talking about the dais of preparation, time scheduling and my invitation as a participant of the International Conference of Holocaust Museums, 4& 5 June 2012 @ Academy of Sciences Riga
What can be expected from “A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 – Commemorative Interventions” (AVM Riga 2012) ?
First of all needs to be stated, that this project is not only realized as a media art project in the context of the A-Team , but also as an event in partnership between “Culture and Arts Project NOASS” Riga – http://www.noass.lv , Riga Ghetto & Latvian Holocaust Museum – http://www.rgm.lv , the Jewish association SHAMIR Riga – http://www.shamir.lv and artvideoKOELN – the international curatorial initiative “art & moving images” from Cologne directed by Agricola de Cologne – http://video.mediaartcologne.org
As a kind of multi-purpose project, “AVM Riga 2012” is consisting of three parts taking place at two locations, i.e. the preparations for the event in Riga, the exhibition and screening of SFC – Shoah Film Collection at Floating Art Gallery NOASS, 1-8 June 2012, accompanied by a wide range of complementary interventions, further the participation of Agricola de Cologne and his SFC- Shoah Film Collection as a topic of the International Conference of Holocaust Museums organized by Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum on 4-6 June at the Latvian Academy of Sciences Riga, accompanied by the installation of a selection of films/videos from SFC – Shoah Film Collection in the spatial context of the Academy of Sciences.
The project interventions at the Floating Art Gallery include the attending 9 artists. Besides Agricola de Cologne (Germany), they are Doron Polak & Eitan Vitkon (both Israel), Cristiano Berti (Italy), Doris Neidl (Austria), Felice Hapetzeder (Sweden) and Jay Needham, Ben Neufeld and Shelley Jordon (all USA), talks with these artists moderated by Agricola de Cologne include the individual presentation of the artists videos and their participation in the discussions after the screenings addressed to the local audience.
Communicating on different levels and activating the audience is representing the essential aspect of the interventions. To this context belongs also the performance by the Israeli artist Doron Polak, who prepared a special performance related to the family roots in Latvia. His father originating from Riga and still living 92 years old at his sons apartment in Tel-Aviv had worked on a diary during his time at Riga Ghetto which is forming the basis for the performance of his son.
Two complementing exhibitions representing another form of intervention are standing under the motto “How Memory Survives” – presenting a selection of experimental photographs by the Israeli Eitan Vitkon dealing thematically with the performances of Doron Polak, and a small selection of drawings from the more than 12000 drawings, the Italian artist Paolo Bonfiglio was creating for his animated film “Mortale”, which belongs to the Shoah Film Collection.
So, each of the exhibitions offers to the audience a view “backstage” and gives some ideas about the creative fields of different artistic media.
But another aspect belongs also to the interventions, guiding the attending artists to the Jewish roots of Riga, by visiting the Ghetto & Latvian Holocaust Museum and the area of Riga Ghetto, the old Jewish cemetery of Riga, as well as the Rumbula Forest, where countless Jews were executed.
What can be expected from the blog?
The blog does not only document the line of activities during the project days until 8 June, but would like to give also background information about SFC – Shoah Film Collection, its artists and films/videos, as well as the interventions to be completed by documenting photos and videos.
Who are the participating artists?
Agricola de Cologne, Yochai Avrahami & Karin Eliyahu, Bebe Beard, Tova Beck-Friedman, Christiano Berti, Isobel Blank Brian Delevie, Paolo Bonfiglio, Sean Burn, David R. Burns, Dova Cahan, Marita Contreras, Alicia Felberbaum, Konstantinos-Antonios Goutos, Grace Graupe Pillard, Felice Hapetzeder, Holger Kiess, Anetta Kapon, Shon Kim, Tamy Mike Laufer, Dana Levy, Heike Liss & Thea Farhadian, Lukas Matejka, Shelley Jordon, Branko Miliskovic, Jay Needham, Doris Neidl, Ben Neufeld, Miri Nishri, Cezary Ostrowski, Joseph Rabie, Doron Polak & Uri Dushy,Jean-Michel Rolland, Nathania Rubin, Jens Salander, Antti Savela, Elana Schwadron–Minkow, Daveed Shwartz, Maja Schweizer, Boris Sribar, Eitan Vitkon, Anders Weberg, Yonathan Weinstein.