TÊTE-À-TÊTE this week: an international art conference, an exhibition opening and a film book launch

On 22 October, under the auspices of the Boris and Ināra Teterev arts programme TETE-A-TETE 2015, the Art Museum Riga Bourse will host an international conference dedicated to the interaction between contemporary art and the contemporary city, while the National Library of Latvia is the venue for the opening of a new exhibition “Outstanding Art Masters — Past and Present” and the launch of Dita Rietuma and Normunds Naumanis’ film book “500 of the Best Films of All Time”.


From 10:00 to 16:00, an international conference “What’s in the Garden? Art amidst Riga’s Greenery” will take place at the Art Museum Riga Bourse. This conference is 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 conference will reflect the experience of other countries including examples of best practice, problems, perspectives and dreams, as well as in the implementation of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation’s programme “Art in Public Space”.

Among the speakers attending the conference and sharing their experience will be KIASMA Museum curator Arje 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 Cristel Vesters from the Netherlands and artist Indriķis Ģelzis in tandem with art historian John C. Welchman from the USA.

In anticipation that this event will attract a large audience, we invite you to reserve your place in good time, because there are a limited number of seats available. You can apply to attend the conference by sending an application to: . Participation in the conference is free of charge, while you can follow the conference live by visiting: www.diena.lv


At 16:30, the National Library of Latvia’s (NLL) Arts and Music Centre (4th floor) will host the opening of an exhibition of a collection of newly acquired art publications, “Outstanding Art Masters: Past and Present”. The exhibition is the result of the first year’s implementation of a three-year project financed by the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation aimed at augmenting the NLL’s art collection and forming a special collection. The exhibition offers viewers the opportunity to discover a total of 163 art publications and the new audio-visual collection comprised of 160 films about art, and will be open to the public until 20 December during library opening hours. Admission: free of charge.

Visiting the exhibition, viewers will have the chance to learn about the creative output of outstanding artists including Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Vermeer, J. M. W. Turner, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, Anselm Kiefer, Bill Viola and others via extensive monographs and exhibition catalogues. 

During the first year of the project, its special focus has been on the Anglo-Saxon publishing space, mainly in the form of publications and collection catalogues from some of the United Kingdom’s most notable museums and arts institutions including the National Gallery, the Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as books published by the well-known art publishing houses of Phaidon, Thames & Hudson and others. The NLL has also begun to compile a comprehensive new collection of audio-visual materials spanning all the most important periods of art – including films about art history and artists, and video recordings that will be available to the general public in the state-of-the-art NLL audio-visual reading room.


The opening of the exhibition will include the launch presentation of Dita Rietuma and Normunds Naumanis’ new film book “500 of the Best Films of All Time”. The book contains a compilation of essays about films that have shaped the course of cinema history from its very beginnings right through to the present day, as well as essays about the most notable processes in each decade of the 120 year history of cinema.  800 copies of this book will be available for the enjoyment and education of readers at public libraries in every region of Latvia.