Latvian Pavilion16th International Architecture ExhibitionLa Biennale di Venezia
26th May to 25th November 2018 Arsenale Artiglierie
The housing question is where architecture most directly intersects with political, social, and economic concerns. This is especially notable in apartment buildings. On the one hand, an individual apartment offers isolation from the outside world. On the other hand, it implies interdependence within a larger structure, be it a building, a utility infrastructure, a residential community, or a governing framework.
Not surprisingly, this category of architecture has often been used for testing and introducing new modes of organising life. This has definitely been evident in Latvia, where nowadays two-thirds of the population reside in apartment buildings—the highest ratio in Europe. For many, apartment living constitutes the most common experience of architecture.
During a 100-year long existence of the Latvian state it has been subjected to several mutually incompatible ideologies, and for each of them apartment living has served as a means of reform. Having implemented both the best ideals of European social-democratic housing block design, as well as the advice from the World Bank in order to organise state-wide privatisation at different times, the sparsely populated landscape of Latvia is dotted with a variety of architectural answers to the question of how to live in close proximity to one another.
The exhibition is organised in four independent sections: Distance portrays proximities between individual spheres that emerge as a consequence of demographic shifts; Promise looks at the apartment building as a political project; Warmth explores the relation between energy consumption, geopolitics, and collective decision making; Self deals with the individual apartment as a subject of private property, and the limitations of it.
The research is presented through conceptual models, archival materials and a photography series depicting the multitude of apartment buildings found in Latvia today. This is accompanied by two books, in English and in Latvian, opening up the topic for further study.
Matīss Groskaufmanis is an architect based in Rotterdam. In 2016 Matīss graduated with Cum Laude and Honours from Delft Technical University Faculty of Architecture, with a thesis project exploring live-work housing development schemes. In 2011–2012, Matīss studied the transition of housing provision infrastructure from planned to free market economy at the Strelka Institute in Moscow. Since then he has worked on a range of research, publishing, and architecture projects as part of OMA/AMO in Rotterdam. In 2016, Matīss joined the Dutch architecture practice MVRDV, alongside working on independent research projects.
Gundega Laiviņa is an experienced producer in the fields of culture and art, with a focus on contemporary theatre. Since 2009 Gundega runs the New Theatre Institute of Latvia and serves as artistic director of the long-running international theatre festival Homo Novus. She curated the Latvian national exposition in the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in 2011 and 2015. Gundega has served as one of the main curators of Riga — European Capital of Culture 2014, aiming to decentralise culture in Riga geographically and in terms of accessibility and participation.
Evelīna Ozola has completed architecture studies in Riga and holds a master’s degree in urbanism from TU Delft in the Netherlands. She has worked at MADE arhitekti in Riga and SVESMI in Rotterdam, and is co-founder of Fine Young Urbanists. Evelina frequently contributes to magazines and newspapers on issues concerning the built environment. In 2013, she co–founded FOLD, an online magazine for creative industries in Latvia. Evelina has worked as a lecturer at RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design in Latvia, Umeå School of Architecture in Sweden, and as Programme Director of Riga Technical University International Summer School.
Anda Skrējāne is currently working as a freelance scenographer across Europe. She holds a Mag. Art. degree from the Stage and Film design department at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. As part of the collective WIENER MALER, Anda assists the artist Ragnar Kjartansson on performances that have taken place at Palais de Tokyo, contemporary art gallery TBA21 and Volksbühne Berlin. Anda’s latest projects involve a music video venue for the renowned band The National and her individual scenography projects, one being Childhood’s Dream that won the Latvian Theater Award for Contemporary Dance Achievement of the Year 2017.
Ivars Drulle, Mārtiņš Dušelis, Matīss Groskaufmanis, Reinis Hofmanis, Evelīna Ozola, Dita Pāne, Anda Skrējāne, Charlotte Spichalsky, Daria Melnikova
New Theatre Institute of Latvia, Klinta Harju
Karīna Horsta, Toms Zariņš
Goys & Birls
Goys & Birls and Manus Nijhoff
KOPĀ UN ATSEVIŠĶI:DAUDZDZĪVOKĻU NAMU ARHITEKTŪRA LATVIJAS EKONOMISKAJĀ, POLITISKAJĀ UN SOCIĀLAJĀ AINAVĀ
Edited by: Matīss Groskaufmanis and Evelīna Ozola
Contributions by: Błażej Czuba, Sander Ettema, GAISS, Matīss Groskaufmanis, Reinis Hofmanis, Ivars Ījabs, Toms Kokins, Linda Leitāne–Šmīdberga, MADE arhitekti, Ilze Martinsone, Mārtiņš Mintaurs, Evelīna Ozola, Niklāvs Paegle, Kārlis Ratnieks, RUUME arhitekti, Sampling, Kārlis Sils, Pēteris Strautiņš, Renata Tyszczuk, Ieva Zībārte.
Designed by: Carla+Kārlis20.5 x 28 cm240 pagesLanguage: LatvianISBN 978-9934-19-751-2Available at the ISSP Gallery, book stores Valters un Rapa and Mr. Page, gallery Istaba in Riga. Retail price around 25€.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF TOGETHER AND APART:AN INQUIRY INTO APARTMENT BUILDINGS
Edited by: Matīss Groskaufmanis, Evelīna Ozola, Anda Skrējāne
Contributions by: Błażej Czuba, Sander Ettema, Robert Alexander Gorny, Reinis Hofmanis, Ivars Ījabs, Mārtiņš Mintaurs, Kārlis Ratnieks, Ieva Raudsepa, Kārlis Sils, Peter Sloterdijk, Pēteris Strautiņš, Renata Tyszczuk.
Designed by: Goys & Birls17 x 23 cm200 pagesLanguage: EnglishISBN 978-9934-19-512-9Available at the ISSP Gallery, book stores Mr. Page and Robert's Books, gallery Istaba, and Draugu telpa at the National Library of Latvia. Retail price around 20€.
Both publications also available for international shipping upon request: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st February – 27th March 2019
Exhibition Together and ApartISSP Gallery, Riga
31st January 2019
Opening of the exhibition Together and ApartISSP Gallery, Riga19.00
25th May 2018
The official opening of the Latvian PavilionArsenale Artiglierie, Venice12.30
24th–25th May 2018
Press preview of the Latvian PavilionArsenale Artiglierie, Venice10.00-18.00
25th April 2018
Curators' talk Apartment buildings in the Latvian landscapeISSP Gallery, Riga18.30
29th March 2018
Panel discussion Rental Housing in the 21st Century — a Commodity or a Right?Latvian Association of Architects, Riga16.00
Together and Apart currently on viewat the ISSP Gallery in Riga1st February to 27th March 2019
Opening times: Tuesday–Saturday 12.00–18.00Wednesday 12.00–20.00
ISSP Gallery13 Marijas StreetBergs Bazaar, Riga