VAGABOND \ A PLACE HARD TO PLACE /
9 Pell St, 2B
New York, NY 10013
Dates: August 3 – August 31, 2022
Exhibition opening: August 3, 6-8pm
Organized by: Kim?, Riga
Kim? Contemporary Art Centre is pleased to announce the presentation of VAGABOND \ A PLACE HARD TO PLACE / at Jenny’s in New York City. This gallery exchange follows the group exhibition Nothing to Write Home About organized by Jenny’s and hosted by Kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga in February 2022.
VAGABOND \ A PLACE HARD TO PLACE / was initially conceived as a proposal for a physical exhibition in the Latvian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. While unrealized, the project has morphed, developed and found its way online. This summer it reappears as a video projection at Jenny’s and simultaneously celebrates the American architect John Hejduk’s New York connection.
VAGABOND \ A PLACE HARD TO PLACE / is a “speculative” exhibition conceived in collaboration with artists Indriķis Ģelzis, Elza Sīle, and Joe Namy, as well as co-curators Zane Onckule and Jo-ey Tang, and architect Juris Strangots. Absorbing the heightened anxiety of the present, the project deploys a poetic and utopian imagination towards the creation of an intermingled media landscape—a digitally-conceived exhibition featuring a newly commissioned score, writing, CGI animation, and a website. The project emerges as a vision and as a compass, from private imagination, to the collective conscience of the digital, and back to an activation in physical space.
Adopting American architect John Hejduk’s (1929-2000) belief that during an existential crisis, time has the tendency to “collapse into space”, VAGABOND \ A PLACE HARD TO PLACE / strategically utilizes the spatiality offered by a digital environment in order to seek a novel form of empathy. As a speculative endeavor, the project works towards a future which considers the re-evaluation of our individual and collective alienation alongside our shared physical and mental limitations and boundaries. Expanding Hejduk’s legacy of imaginative architectural thought, VAGABOND \A PLACE HARD TO PLACE / is conceived as a sculptural-architectural vagabond-agent of our current social, political, psychological realities.
Exhibition is accompanied with a display copy of the reissue of the publication John Hejduk: The Riga Project (1989). Wall based art works by Indriķis Ģelzis and Elza Sīle further expands the project’s idea. Released as a set of 3 books, this revised edition of the 1989 publication contains the original English edition, a Latvian translation and Act Two: The Riga Project, a book that initiates preparatory works for the reenactment of The Riga Project in Riga and elsewhere in Latvia. Publication is issued by RISEBA Architecture and Media Centre (Riga) and Arhiteksti (2022).
Artists: Indriķis Ģelzis, Elza Sīle, The John Hejduk Archive
Curators: Zane Onckule, Jo-ey Tang
Architect: Juris Strangots
Sound: Joe Namy
Voiced by: Amira Ghazalla
Sung by: Alya Al-Sultani
Archival drawings: John Hejduk fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture
Executive Director: Elīna Drāke
Project manager: Evita Goze
Web design: Shadow Brand®
Video montage: Ieva Kraule-Kūna
Produced by: Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, 2022
Supported by: Kultūrelpa, State Culture Capital Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Riga City Council