The exhibition launch took place at 12 Star Gallery on the evening of 6th March and was organized by Embassy of Latvia to UK, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Commission in London in cooperation with the talented artist - Arthur Analts.
In light of recent debates and interest in borders, both as an abstract metaphor and as physical barriers to define and protect nation states, Analts’ installation presents the viewer with the duality of what can be seen and the underlying layered narrative. Drawing on notions of borders from within political discourse and popular culture, the installation aims to reflect on the ambivalence of borders – both as boundaries of our social or personal relations and as those imposed at the edges of nation states.
The installation consists of a series of wall-mounted sculptures that initially resemble chain-link fences, but on closer inspection consist of interconnected shapes of people. These wall-mounted sculptures are presented with “North, South, East and Western”, an intensely coloured mirror sculpture strategically positioned on the floor of the gallery with one side pointing north. This sculpture represents both the world and a compass, but importantly, it symbolises the constant monitoring of movement across borders. Despite its intense red blood colour, the viewer will see the reflection of their legs no matter at which angle or distance it is viewed.
During the evening a contemporary dance was performed by Anastasija Kanina and Marta Polok who worked together with Latvian artists - choreographer Kirill Burlov, composer Platon Buravicki and poet Velta Snikere, to highlight the importance of borders in our society.
In her speech, the ambassador Baiba Braže said: "We, Latvians, have overcome so many borders in the past 100 years, some have been real, some imaginary, but it has only shown our strenght and willingness to not only declare an independent and democratic country, but also to fight for its existance.
Arthur Analts (b. 1991)
Arthur Analts is a London-based Latvian artist and designer. After studying sculpture in Riga, Analts moved to London where he completed his degree in Product Design at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London.
Analts’ work takes a critical view of political, cultural and environmental issues. His research-led approach, considers innovative experimentation across materials, new technologies, alternative production techniques and scale. While working in various media, Analts' methodology is consistent - the subject matter of each body of work determines the material and the form - and the outcome is always emotionally charged.
Arthur Analts work is in the permanent collection of the Latvian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and part of several private collections across Europe. Analts most recent exhibitions include Atelier Lachaert Dhanis, Tielrode, Belgium and Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom.