Art Museum Riga Bourse

The international conference “What’s in the Garden? — Art amidst Riga’s Greenery”

This conference was dedicated to the challenges related to the interaction of contemporary art and the contemporary city. One of the most important debates is considered to be the understanding of what constitutes contemporary art in an urban environment, which is often misunderstood in Eastern Europe, where it tends to be equated to the decorative works that were created during the period after classical modernism.

The focus of the conference - the operation of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation programme “Art in the Public Space”. Likewise, the audience was introduced to the experience of other countries including examples of best practice, problems, perspectives and dreams.

Among the speakers attending the conference and sharing their experience were KIASMA Museum curator Arja Miller from Finland, artist Dmitri Gutov from Russia, curator Helēna Demakova from Latvia, curator Norbert Weber from Germany, artist Evita Vasiļjeva in tandem with curator Christel Vesters from the Netherlands and artist Indriķis Ģelzis in tandem with art historian John C. Welchman from the USA.


- Helēna Demakova (Latvia), curator, art historian. "Riga’s new public art programme: a private gesture for the public good. Challenges, problems, prospects" (in Latvian).

- Dmitri Gutov (Russia), artist and art theorist. "Disputed boundary: art moves from gallery to public space" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Russian here).

- Sana Ghobbeh (Iran), artist. "Ephemerality and participation in public art" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Latvian here).

- Arja Miller (Finland), Chief Curator of Collections at KIASMA, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. "Contemporary art in public space from KIASMA’S viewpoint" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Latvian here).

- Norbert Weber (Germany), curator. "Heaven on earth - geniuses and idiots" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Latvian here).

- Christel Vesters (Netherlands), curator, researcher and art critic. Evita Vasiļjeva (Latvia / Netherlands), artist. "Speculative Scenarios: Exploring the ins and outs of a public art work for Riga" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Latvian here).

- John C. Welchman (USA), Professor of art history in the Visual Arts department at the University of California, San Diego, chair of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Indriķis Ģelzis (Latvia / Belgium), artist. "Stage, Scale and Surprise" (in English). (Watch the lecture in Latvian here).



Art Museum Riga Bourse Art in Public Space