Grāfienes 'On the Road'

08.03.-07.04.2024. 11.00-18.00

From 8 March to 7 April, the Intro Hall of the Riga Art Space will host a retrospective of the exhibition On the Road by the artists' association Grāfienes at the Latvian National Exposition at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. 

"It is clear that when we think about the future, we must learn to imagine a new, unfamiliar world order. A new theatre space needs to be created. We need to create a manifesto." 

On the opening night of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space on 7 June 2023, the art association Grāfienes, together with playwright Kirils Ēcis and cinematographer Dāvids Smiltiņš, went on a twelve-day journey by car from Riga to Prague.  Each day of the journey was documented in close interaction with the landscape in which the Grāfienes found themselves at the time, creating a set or a performance situation that explored a theatrical principle essential to the artists’ association. Visitors to the Latvian stand in Prague could follow live broadcasts of the trip, which were broadcast day after day on one of twelve screens. At the start of a new day, the theme was announced and a new video box lit up. At the end of the day, what was done during the day was compressed into a few minutes of video, becoming an archive of this unique process. 

The full archive of On the Road will be screened in twelve video boxes in the exhibition hall Riga Art Space. It is the Grāfienes' manifesto, which they created on their way to Prague, together with all kinds of landscapes and audiences, in search of the ideal theatre space, daily indulging in new visual experiments and scenographic explorations. 

"On the one hand, it was a test for us. What does it mean to build your own theatre in twelve days with your audience? One that asks fundamental questions about the space and role of theatre. Set design cannot be separated from action. It is not a moment captured in a model box or a photograph. It only comes into contact with someone who is powering it, be it the actor, the spectator or the wind." 

Author: association Grāfienes - Dace Ignatova, Justine Jasjukeviča, Ildze Jurkovska, Marianna Lapiņa 
Operator: Dāvids Smiltiņš 
Playwright: Kirils Ēcis 
Curator and mentor: Gundega Laiviņa 
Producers: Sandra Lapkovska and Latvian New Theatre Institute 
Technical support: Ieva Vīksne 

The exhibition is organized by the Riga Art Space Exhibition Hall, the Association of Culture Institutions of the Riga City Municipality, and supported by Riga City Council, the State Culture Capital Foundation and the New Theatre Institute of Latvia.