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Inga Meldere and Jaanus Samma at Latvian National Museum of Art

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Exhibition: Pieces of Antiquity, marble, 10x5x5 cm, 2020

Inga Meldere and Jaanus Samma are included in the exhibition In the Name of Desire at Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga.

Exhibition dates: April 27 - July 28, 2024.

“(..) my tongue is broken. A delicate fire
runs under my skin, my eyes
see nothing, my ears roar (..).”
(SAPPHO. Translated from the ancient Greek by Diane J. Rayor.
Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works (2014))

The exhibition sheds light on authors in Latvian 20th century art history who have bravely taken up the investigation of sexuality and the phenomenon of desire. Furthermore, contemporary artists participate in this project with existing or specially created works, interpreting this socially still awkward subject in the media of painting, graphic art, photography, sculpture, installation, and video art.

The exhibition critically revisits the objectification of women’s bodies in visual art, shifting the focus to the representation of the female experience and a feminist approach. For the first time in Latvia, Baltic queer art is surveyed at such breadth, demonstrating inclusive thinking and openness towards questions of self-identity regarding awareness of one’s sexuality.

“The exhibition will celebrate sexual diversity at a time when authoritarian regimes right next to us as well as in other parts of the world violently oppress and persecute people who identify and desire differently. Continuing the institutional critique began in the exhibition Don’t Cry!, curated by Elita Ansone, In the Name of Desire will for the first time in the history of the Latvian National Museum of Art present a representative selection of Latvian LGBT+ art. With the help of this project we want to encourage discussion about taboo yet existentially important subjects and to promote the acceptance of diversity among Latvian society. Since where there is no space for diversity, there is no space for freedom,” stresses one of the curators of the exhibition, philosopher Igor Gubenko.

From the collection of the LNMA the exhibition presents works by Vilnis Zābers, Rolands Kaņeps, Viktorija Pelše, Rasma Bruzīte, Arta Dumpe, Katrīna Neiburga, Biruta Baumane, Felicita Pauļuka, Hilda Vīka, Daiga Grantiņa, Amanda Ziemele, Sigismunds Vidbergs, Romualds Getaitis, Laimonis Blumbergs, Rūdolfs Alders, Tālivaldis Gaumigs, Igor Vasiliev, Boriss Bērziņš, Monika Bauere, Lê Công Thành, Arnis Balčus, Iosif Elgurt, Rūsiņš Rozīte, Konstantīns Rončevskis, Voldemārs Trejs, Burkards Dzenis, Guntars Zvaigzne, Gustavs Šķilters, Daina Riņķe, Kristians Brekte and other artists. The exposition also includes works from other institutions and private collections such as the achievements of Dace Džeriņa, Ingrīda Pičukāne, Vika Eksta, Inga Meldere, Rasa Jansone, Aleksandrs Apsītis, Ādolfs Zārdiņš, Vladimir Glushenkov, Gunārs Vīndedzis, Anna-Stina Treumund, Ivars Grāvlejs, Visvaldis Ziediņš, Andris Grinbergs, Anna Dzērve, Baiba Vegere, Rūta Kreica, Brenda Jansone, Kārlis Vītols, Mark Raidpere, Veronika (Vėra) Šleivytė, Diānas Tamanes, Jaanus Samma, Krista Zute, Mare Tralla, Adomas Danusevičius, Aija Pole, Andris Kaļiņins, Sabīne Vernere, Frančeska Kirke, Janina Sabaliauskaitė. New works specially for the exhibition have been made by artists Anna Malicka, Skuja Braden, Konstantin Zhukov, Mētra Saberova, Aksels Bruks, Annemarija Gulbe, Krišjānis Elviks and Anna Ansone, Ksenija Tarasova, Atis Jākobsons, Rasa Jansone.