14.12.2019 13:00
The talk program for the exhibition "Unexpected Encounters" will take the visitor through different times, geographies, utopias, and catastrophes, in our common search for hints for new scenarios for the future. The talk part of "Unexpected Encouters" will take place at "Arsenāls" exhibition hall of the National Art Museum of Latvia.

Talk program for the exhibition Unexpected Encounters:



Artists’ presentations followed by a discussion

Ieva Balode, Ylva Westerlund, Ann Lislegaard

In this section of the program, the artists will talk about her works shown at the exhibition, which deal with topical issues in feminism, ecology, and rapid technological development. Ieva Balode will discuss her work, which addresses the issue of whether or not we can imagine history that would be written from a woman’s point of view. What vision of the future would such history offer? Ylva Westerlund will meanwhile consider the imminent consequences of toxic pollution on the shores of the Baltic Sea by settling hybrid creatures and hallucinations in the familiar landscape.  Do fantastic dystopic visions offer solutions to the ecological crisis we are facing?


Already nowadays, the world and people are so intimately involved with technologies – a part of our memory is located in different gadgets, implying that cyborg, a creature that is part live being, part gadget is no longer just a matter of sci-fi utopian visions of the near future but, in a way, reality. Ann Lislegaard  will talk about her work with a cyborg as a protagonist. Would imagining such hybrid beings help us to get rid of such inveterate dichotomies as nature-human, woman-man? What would the construction of society and the planet be like if there were no such dualities?


14.30-15.30 Break



Viktor Timofeev – musical performance



Artists’ presentations followed by a discussion

Anton Vidokle, Bahar Noorizadeh, Driant Zeneli, Kristaps Epners

The author Philip K. Dick introduced his 1978 speech with a question – how to develop a world that would not crash two days later? This question was based both on people’s undying wish to create alternative worlds in literature, cinematography, and, by upturning political systems, in reality and on the difficulties this process entails. In this section of the program, the artists will turn to past utopias and their legacy. Anton Vidokle will turn to Russian cosmism, Bahar Noorizade will revisit proposals for a communist sprawl in the 1929 or Soviet Disurbanism, tracing these blueprints to the contemporary global city, Driant Zeneli will look at the possible futures of the post-industrial city Elbasan in Albania, and  Kristaps Epners will talk about the legacy of Guntis “Gunnar” Tannis, who had a dream to build a spectacular futuristic city in the middle of nowhere in Canada. Can we say that a utopia has failed if it has not been realized? Can science fiction provide us with tools for not only imagine utopias but also to carry them out?


Talks will be held in English.



Arsenāls Exhibition Hall / Torņa iela 1, Riga



Ticket to the exhibition.

Free of charge for Annual ticket owners.

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