Zane Onckule. Playground: Addressing Latvian Contemporary Art

17 April 2017


Curator, art historian, program director of the kim? Contemporary Art Center—Zane Ötzkule will talk about contemporary art practices in Latvia and the role of the artist in the context of a complex cycle of relationships, in which the art of the Baltic region exists today.

The 1990s introduced the Baltic region as having a certain “mood” that still continues today. What fits contemporary Latvia the most in this mood is an act of continuous playing itself. It is based on the view that by theoretical, political-economic (the narrow circle of collectors, galleries, dealers), and art-historical (the lack of discursive, dialectic or critical art) measures contemporary art shouldn’t even exist here.

The current rise of the nationalist right-wing movement in Europe, together with preparation for the coming Centennials across the region is paralleled with a series of efforts aimed at the representation and increase of visibility of artistic initiatives. These initiatives urge for a resurrection of attention towards contemporary art.

The talk will address the notion of peculiarities in Latvian art, approaching the following questions: Who is a Latvian artist? Where is he/she now? What are his/her features, language/s spoken, and themes and references consumed?



Zane Onckule (1982), curator and program director at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga.

Zane Onckule studied art history at the Art Academy of Latvia and media communications at the University of Latvia. She has a BA from the Banking Institution of Higher Education in Latvia. Zane conducts research into the modes of language, writing, and production. She is interested primarily in how these modes are interpreted in visual art practices. Since 2010 Zane has been the curator and programme director at kim? Contemporary Art Center in Riga. She has organised and curated exhibitions, parallel programming, and also acts as editor of publications and other corresponding materials in collaboration with a wide range of artists, curators and theoreticians.

Zane was co-commissioner of the Latvian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2014-2017 she curated the following projects: the solo exhibitions of Rodrigo Hernandez at kim? (March 2017); Ieva Epnere at Art in General, New York and kim? (September/December, 2017); Alexandra Zukerman at The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (February 2016); the group exhibitions Le Fragole del Baltico (together with Simone Menegoi) at CareOf, Milan (July 2015); the solo exhibition of Ulla von Brandenburg Sink Down Montain, Raise Up Walley! at kim?, Riga, (May 2015); the group exhibition, Vortex, at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (May 2014) and others.


how to take part

Free admission upon registration


Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage