Daudzskanis / Polisounder
Anna Salmane, Krišs Salmanis, Kristaps Pētersons
Daudzskanis / Polisounder, the exhibition of the Purvītis Prize 2017 winners Anna Salmane, Krišs Salmanis and Kristaps Pētersons will be on view in the Cupola Hall of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (5th floor; Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) from 15 September to 21 October 2018.

The artists’ trio consisting of Anna Salmane, Krišs Salmanis and Kristaps Pētersons is a rare multigenre phenomenon on the Latvian contemporary art scene. The group is known for its visually minimalistic and conceptual character and uses sound as its main mode of emotional and intellectual expression.


The three artists first collaborated on Dziesma (Song, 2015, winner of the Purvītis Prize in 2017), which was followed by Edīte (2016, Cēsis Art Festival). The idea of Dziesma was to invite the audience to review Latvia’s national value system, formed and rooted in the 20th century, and then to answer the question – does this model still work in the 21st century?


The third work created by Anna Salmane, Krišs Salmanis and Kristaps Pētersons, the large-scale sound sculpture Daudzskanis / Polisounder, was created specifically for the Cupola Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art. The starting point for this object is The Black Cloud (1957)*, a science fiction novel by British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. The central theme of the book is ‘understanding’. In the novel’s storyline, everything depends on that one critical attribute.


Like much sci-fi literature, this is a story about people instead of aliens. About our own reactions in extreme circumstances and extraordinary situations. About our ability to understand each other and about the limits of our understanding. About humans’ thirst for crossing boundaries – no matter the consequences. The creators of Daudzskanis / Polisounder emphasise that in the real world, “understanding is often complicated by culture, education, experience, individual character, gender, and age. Complete understanding between two people is rarely possible, even though it is constantly demanded. Because of this expectation that achieving understanding is always necessary, the existence of various opinions and views leads to bitterness. By changing our perspective and accepting difference as the basic condition, respectful failure to understand can actually free and enrich us.”


Daudzskanis / Polisounder is a large-format mechanical pipe-type instrument producing a strict four-part polymetre. Each pipe plays in its own rhythm, time, tempo, and pitch. The different lines of sound mingle, mix and overlay, each following its own algorithm. However, there is a moment in each cycle when the individual trajectories all meet.


This exhibition is a special project for the Purvītis Prize presented by the Latvian National Museum of Art in collaboration with the art and culture portal Arterritory.com and the INDIE Cultural Projects Agency. Oskars Poikāns, an artist known for the unusual musical instruments he makes from drainage pipes, polyurethane and fibreglass, also participated in the construction of the sculpture. Special thanks to Oskars Plataiskalns & Dizaina darbnīca, Martins Vizbulis. Project supported by Alfor Ltd., official patron of the Purvītis Prize.


* In the first pages of the science fiction novel The Black Cloud (1957), by British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, a cloud of gas and dust is approaching our solar system. When it reaches the Sun, it stops. The cloud’s unexpected and unpredictable behaviour suggests that it might be an intelligent being. Eventually, scientists on Earth begin a conversation with the cloud, which, it turns out, has arrived here to recharge its energy source and is surprised to find that a relatively intelligent form of life has developed on such an insignificant planet. At the humans’ request, the cloud attempts to impart some of its knowledge to two volunteer scientists. But the cloud’s information immeasurably exceeds the capacity of the scientists’ minds, leading to their deaths.



Anna Salmane received her bachelor’s in art at London’s Goldsmiths College and master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Latvia. Artist’s fields of work are installation, photography and video. She has participated in exhibitions since 2001. Salmane lives and works in London (UK) and Riga (Latvia). In 2017, she was the recipient of Latvia’s most prestigious award for the visual arts, the Purvītis Prize.


Krišs Salmanis has graduated from the Visual Communication Department of the Art Academy of Latvia and from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He works in the fields of installation, objects, video, and animation. Artist has participated in exhibitions since 1996. In 2013, along with Kaspars Podnieks, he represented Latvia at the 55th Venice Biennale with the exhibition North by Northeast. Salmanis lives and works in Riga (Latvia). In 2017, he was the recipient of Latvia’s most prestigious award for the visual arts, the Purvītis Prize.


Kristaps Pētersons received his baccalaureate in double-bass and master’s degree in composition from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Together with writer Sergey Timofeyev and director Viesturs Meikšāns, he created the opera Mihails un Mihails spēlē šahu (Mikhail and Mikhail are Playing Chess), which received Latvia’s Great Music Award in the category Production of the Year. Pētersons has worked with the artists Anna Salmane and Krišs Salmanis on several projects. In 2017, he was the recipient of Latvia’s most prestigious award for the visual arts, the Purvītis Prize.




Daiga Rudzāte, art critic, Editor-in-Chief of the art and culture portal Arterritory.com,

Director of the INDIE Cultural Projects Agency



Astrīda Rogule, Curator of the Contemporary Art Collection, Latvian National Museum of Art

Laura Dravniece, Curator of Education, Latvian National Museum of Art

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