On the Playground with kim?

Image: kim? Salon, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga (May 17 - June 1, 2014), photo by Ansis Starks.

On the Playground with kim?
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public

Curator Zane Onckule will speak about kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, and its position in the larger contemporary art scene in Latvia.

The 1990s introduced a certain “mood” to the Baltic region that still exists today. A key quality of of this mood is currently noticeable in Latvia, where contemporary art plays itself in a self-referential, almost performative manner. This playfulness exists in opposition to a view that, because of the theoretical, political-economic structures (the narrow circle of collectors, galleries, dealers) and art-historical measures (the lack of discursive, dialectic or critical art), contemporary art shouldn’t even exist in Latvia.

Meanwhile, the rise of nationalist right-wing movements in Europe, along with preparations for the upcoming Centennials across the region in 2018, are happening simultaneously with a series of efforts to solidify the visibility of artistic initiatives.

In light of such desire for resurrecting attention to Latvian contemporary art, Zane Onckule’s talk at ICI will inform these general shifts with a more personal experience over the last seven years as a Program Director at kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga. She will discuss a series of images from her and kim?‘s archive to show how both public and private curatorial methodologies can be applied and questioned while working for and with a young institution. Onckule will take the specific case of the kim?‘s 2009—2016 Yearbook (forthcoming, August 2017) to speak about various possibilities and limitations of a self-reflective and site-specific curatorial practice within this contemporary art space in Riga. The presentation will be followed by a brief Q&A with ICI’s Director of Exhibitions, Alaina Claire Feldman.

This presentation will revisit and continue themes and names first introduced at Zane Onckule’s lecture at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, in April 2017. Onckule would like to acknowledge New York based art historian Alise Tīfentāle for sharing with the notion of playing contemporary art while referring to the region.

This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with KIM? in the subject line.


Zane Onckule’s talk is supported by State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and private donors.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

August 30, 2017

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013


Zane Onckule

Zane Onckule (b. 1982, Latvia), has studied Art History at The Art Academy of Latvia and Communication Science at University of Latvia, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Banking Institution of Higher Education in Latvia. From 2010 to 2017 she was a curator and Programme Director at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga where she has organised, curated and co-curated exhibitions, public programme as well as edited publications and other corresponding materials in collaboration with wide range of artists, curators and theoreticians. She was a co-commissioner of Latvian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). Selected curatorial projects: The Shakiest of Things by Rodrigo Hernandez (kim?, Riga, 2017); Sea of Living Memories by Ieva Epnere (Art in General, New York, 2016); Le Fragole del Baltico, group exhibition (together with curator Simone Menegoi), CareOf, Milan (2015); Sink Down Montain, Raise Up Walley! by Ulla von Brandenburg (kim?, Riga, 2015); Vortex, group exhibition at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2014); Little Vera by Sanya Kantarovsky and Ella Kruglyanskaya (kim?, Riga, 2014). She has enrolled in the Class of 2019 at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard).

Alaina Claire Feldman

Alaina Claire Feldman is the Director and Curator of Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) where she has organized solo and group exhibitions, performances, readings and film screenings with artists such as Minerva Cuevas, Juan Downey, Lamin Fofana, Nicolás Guagnini, May Joseph, Zeena Parkins, Nicolas Premier, Jeff Preiss, Ho Tzu Nyen and more. She teaches Curatorial Praxis in Baruch’s MA Arts Administration program and holds a degree in Art History and Critical Visual Studies from Pratt Institute and Social and Environmental Justice Studies from the Graduate Center.

Her writing on art and political ecology has appeared in Afterall, Contemporary&, e-flux journal, Flash Art, PARSE, Texte Zur Kunst and in catalogues for museums around the world. She is the editor of The Ocean After Nature and Nicolás Guagnini: Theatre of the Self, and managing editor of the Apichatpong Weerasethkul Sourcebook. Previously curated exhibitions include Peter Fend: HACE SENTIDO (Embajada, San Juan, 2018 w TV GOV) a project interrogating the environmental predatory “shock doctrine” of a post-Maria Puerto Rico, as well as Cherchez la femme/Maso et Miso Vont en Bateau (The Kitchen, New York, 2012 and Space, London, 2014), featuring video works she translated from the Centre Audiovisual Simone de Beauvoir in Paris. She was previously Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International where she organized dozens of projects, including The Ocean After Nature, a traveling and modular exhibition presented at seven museums around the world. Her current research is concerned with display technologies that have contributed to the production of nature/ocean as material for consumption as well as the history of natural history, aquariums, critical animal studies, and collecting & collections.

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