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Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art announces the title and participants for its second edition
Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Until a thousand roses bloom (with Warsaw in the background), 2018. Courtesy the artist and Foksal Gallery Foundation. Photo Spyros Rennt.

LATVIA.- Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, a major new biennial in Riga, Latvia, announces the title and participants for its second edition. Entitled and suddenly it all blossoms, RIBOCA2 is curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel and runs from 16 May 2020 – 11 October 2020 in Riga. 

In a global context of ecological, economic and political upheavals, RIBOCA2 channels the notion of re-enchantment as both a frame for understanding the present and a mindset for developing desirable futures. Borrowing its title from the Latvian poet Māra Zālīte (b. 1952), the exhibition re-imagines ways of being human and explores other paths for making relationships. Offering alternatives to apocalyptic narratives, RIBOCA2 rails against cynicism and political despair, transforming fear into opportunity and peril into vitality. 

The project draws its inspiration from the history of Riga, Latvia and the Baltic States, where “worlds have ended” many times since the 13th century, across a stream of occupations, wars and economic crises. Despite these traumas, human and non-human solidarities have been maintained for centuries, through written and oral poetry, acknowledgements of celestial rhythms and practices of healing. The title of the show also links to the Latvian tradition of the dainas, a poetic form of resilience. These short poems, primarily created by women, deal with themes central to the Biennial.

Reflecting on our collective inheritance and potential future harvests, RIBOCA2 aims to give attention and space to voices, gestures, rhythms and beings that have long been silenced. The exhibition extends the territory of art beyond inherited modernist categories, inviting creators from various fields beyond the art academies. and suddenly it all blossoms proposes to recalibrate perspectives, for the possibility of a collective metamorphosis and a chance to build at the end of a world. 

RIBOCA2 will comprise of a minimum of 85% new commissions, produced in close relationship with local actors and communities. The Biennial brings together artists, creators and thinkers that mirror the enmeshment of local and global perspectives. True to its mission of promoting local and neighbouring art scenes, almost a third of the participating artists are from the Baltic countries, while almost 60% are from the Baltic region (including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia) in dialogue with individuals from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. 

For its entire duration, the exhibition will be enriched by talks, workshops, events and performances imagined in collaboration with associate curator of the public programmes Sofia Lemos, with the participation of, amongst others, poet CAConrad, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, historian Lorraine Daston, philosopher Vinciane Despret, researcher Monica Gagliano, anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, philosopher Paul B. Preciado, anthropologist Tobias Rees, and sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos.


• Pawel Althamer *, Poland (b. 1967)

• Kristaps Ancāns *, Latvia (b. 1990)

• Alex Baczynski-Jenkins *, Poland and UK (b. 1987)

• Nina Beier *, Denmark (b. 1975)

• Oliver Beer, UK (b. 1985)

• Hicham Berrada *, France and Morocco (b. 1986)

• Dora Budor *, Croatia and USA (b. 1984)

• Eglė Budvytytė *, Lithuania (b. 1981)

• Valdis Celms *, Latvia (b. 1943)

• Emanuele Coccia, Italy (b. 1976)

• CAConrad, USA (b. 1966)

• Lorraine Daston, USA (b. 1951)

• Edith Dekyndt *, Belgium (b. 1960)

• Vinciane Despret, Belgium (b.1959)

• Erika Eiffel *, USA (b. 1972)

• Vija Eniņa *, Latvia (b. 1941)

• Miķelis Fišers *, Latvia (b. 1970)

• Heinz Frank *, Austria (b. 1939)

• Monica Gagliano, Australia

• Cyprien Gaillard *, France (b. 1980)

• Bendik Giske*, Norway (b. 1982)

• Honkasalo Niemi Virtanen *, Finland (Felicia Honkasalo (b.1986), Akuliina Niemi (b. 1987), Sinna Virtanen (b.1987)

• Katrin Hornek *, Austria (b. 1983)

• Pierre Huyghe, France (b. 1962)

• Marguerite Humeau, France (b. 1986)

• IevaKrish * (Krišjānis Sants, Latvia (b. 1989); Ieva Gaurilčikaitė, Lithuania (b. 1992)

• Mikhail Karikis, Greece (b. 1975)

• Agnese Krivade *, Latvia (b. 1981)

• Lina Lapelytė *, Lithuania (b. 1984)

• Hanne Lippard *, Norway (b. 1984)

• Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, USA (b. 1952)

• Mikhail Maksimov *, Russia (b. 1974)

• Mareunrol’s *, Latvia (Mārīte Mastiņa-Pēterkopa (b. 1982), Rolands Pēterkops (b. 1982)

• Berenice Olmedo *, Mexico (b. 1987)

• Dominika Olszowy *, Poland (b. 1988)

• Sarah Ortmeyer *, Austria (b. 1980)

• Philippe Petit, France (b. 1949)

• Bridget Polk *, USA (b. 1960)

• Paul B. Preciado, Spain (b. 1970)

• Tobias Rees, USA (b. 1973)

• Ugo Rondinone, Switzerland (b. 1964)

• Jaanus Samma *, Estonia (b. 1982)

• Tomás Saraceno *, Argentina and Italy (b. 1973)

• Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Portugal (b. 1940)

• Ashley Hans Scheirl *, Austria (b. 1956)

• Augustas Serapinas *, Lithuania (b. 1990)

• Marina Simakova, Institute of the Cosmos, Russia (b. 1985)

• Timur Si-Qin *, Germany (b. 1984)

• Nikolay Smirnov *, Russia (b. 1982)

• Anastasia Sosunova *, Lithuania (b. 1993)

• Daina Taimiņa *, Latvia (b. 1954)

• Anton Vidokle, Institute of the Cosmos, Russia and USA (b. 1965)

• Arseny Zhilyaev, Institute of the Cosmos, Russia (b. 1984)

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