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Where to Hide!

February 09, Friday 2024 - May 19, Sunday 2024
From 9 February to 19 May 2024, the exhibition Where to Hide! is on show in the Great Exhibition Hall of the Zuzeum Art Centre. The exhibition is curated by Sandra Krastiņa and designed by Reinis Liepiņš and Silver Architecture. The exhibition presents more than 350 works created by Latvian artists under Soviet occupation from the Zuzāns Collection, Latvian National Museum of Art and private collections as well as materials from the Latvian State Archive of Audiovisual Documents.

Where to Hide! – not a question but a scream of realisation in the face of Soviet reality appears in the spontaneous caption for a 1954 drawing by artist Roberts Stārosts. This text, with its grammatically uncorrected Latvian form, is a poignant indicator of the existential choices people had to make. This title underlines curator Sandra Krastiņa’s intention to structure the exhibition around two points of reference – the set of themes co-opted by the authorities and the artists’ endeavours in the language of free expression. These works, produced during the Soviet occupation from 1945 to 1990, are authentic witnesses to the dues paid to the powers that be as well as to the spirit of resistance and disobedience which the artists have succeeded in incorporating in their works, constructing a space freed from Soviet ideology. At the same time, the exhibition highlights the lack of the Contemporary Art Museum and permanent exhibitions showing the period of Soviet occupation.

How to represent an entire era within a single gallery? How to represent the power or powerlessness of the artist’s personality to resist or collaborate with the occupying power within a single time frame? Architect Reinis Liepiņš deals with these questions in his exhibition design. In order to trace in a nutshell the artistic heritage of almost fifty years, in this exhibition Sandra Krastiņa presents artefacts from different artistic disciplines: painting, graphic art, sculpture, graphic design, posters, photography, original and industrial design.