Watery Day’s Eye
A solo exhibition by Indriķis Ģelzis
August 24 – October 8, 2023
Kim? Contemporary Art Centre
Curator: Zane Onckule
Project manager: Evita Goze
Project manager assistant: Katrīna Jauģiete
Communications & Public program: Austra Stupele
Design: Indriķis Ģelzis, Anna Ceipe
Install and art handling: Aldis Bušs, Romāns Medvedevs, Oskars Plataiskalns, Agnese Sidrevica, Agnese Virovska
Voice: Melissa Whittenburg
Translation: Lauris Veips
Editing: Ilze Jansone, Elizaveta Shneyderman
Opening on August 24, 6 pm-9 pm
In his most spacious exhibition to date, Indriķis Ģelzis turns his attention to the ‘liqui-modern’ individual engulfed by a sea of turbulent change. Mediated through our society living under the precondition of shattering flux that permeates the politics of relationships, identities and economics, Watery Day’s Eye is an ode to the personalized, analogue cyberspace masquerading itself under the foil of visual resemblances and contextual meaning of the public swimming pool.
A folkloric, nature-inspired color palette casts the customary white walls of institutional normality with brightness. Flashes of experience and memory act as binders for sculptural appropriations of the infographic ecosystem in metal. Urban planning and the ebb and flow of the stock market are represented in the gallery via welded, bent, oiled artworks which absorb and entrap the shapes and forms of living organisms and bodily details. While the functionally utilitarian details – tiles, carpets – of the living or communal spaces lying underneath establish the rhythm-grid to which the emotional passage of the entire Watery Day’s Eye plays out.
The infinite space of an endlessly reflective mirrored surface is fixed with the precision of geometric zoning, while the meanings of its semantic core drift somewhere between the reflections of sea/water, the phone screen, or within each individual. The otherwise mute pool is punctured by verticality; the figures of larger-than-life chromed metal daisies pulsate ever so subtly at intervals of mechanical, short-cut, jittery movements, as one must always be careful and stay on guard.
The immersive aspirations of this show are revealed in the looped streams of voice and light. The mood of the installation is successively shifted by sonic absurdities that defy its unambiguous interpretation or logic. In the intervals between the audial “ticks” and murmurs, which induce varying degrees of tension, Watery Day’s Eye flares up in the color of the digital water symbolizing the nutritional value of the daisies.
Emotional, adrift and clinging tightly to its corporeal and social backbone, Ģelzis’ installation is the result of transformative reflections made while being immersed in nature, the sea, the internet and, of course, the pool.
Choreography: during the phases of the white bulbs lit “daylight”, the set of daisy sculptures mechanically “ticks” cutting into the serenity of the exhibition; they freeze in motion and sound as the installation overcasts to a blue “watery” illumination, accompanied by an audio narrative representing the natural elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether.
WARNING: EXHIBITION INCLUDES FLASHING COLORFUL LIGHTS!
As part of the exhibition, a freestanding sculpture by Indriķis Ģelzis will be on view at Sporta 2 Quarter until October 8.
The Name for Green is Camouflage
Indriķis Ģelzis’ sculpture
August 24 – October 8, 2023
Courtyard area of Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Sporta 2 Quarter
The sculpture will be unveiled with a Dj performance in the Quarter and will be accompanied by an artist-led workshop for families with children. During the workshop, participants will have the chance to create their own miniature Baltic Sea sculptures under the guidance of the artist.
Reaching up from the roots, two standing figures embrace each other in a position that cannot be changed. The work resembles the tip of an iceberg or a plant-like entity that has emerged from a seed—a force strong enough to break through the encapsulating surface. The way the sculpture is positioned suggests a shin bone or a heel–a kind of plug in a socket. Like the germination of seeds, there are different ways that thoughts can break out of the body: through words, gestures and the fifth-generation cellular network (5G). With 5G, our thoughts can reach faraway places, leaving our bodies behind as a camouflage of the surroundings. The green-painted volumes, made of stainless steel sheets and arranged like packaging, are designed to substitute and mimic body-covering fabrics, embodying a steel skeleton with arms, legs and gestures. These gestures can appear in different positions, depending on experience and circumstances. The artist aims to achieve a physical state that befits a technological fossil or a snail that has left its shell behind.
Indriķis Ģelzis (born 1988 in Latvia) lives and works in Rīga, Latvia. Ģelzis holds an MA in Visual Communication from the Art Academy of Latvia (Rīga, LV) and a Post-Graduate degree from HISK – Higher Institute for Fine Arts (Ghent, BE). Selected solo and two-person shows: VAGABOND / A Place Hard to Place, Jenny’s (New York, 2022); Yawn holding Fields, Tatjana Pieters (Ghent, 2022); Figure of Everything, Castor (London, 2020); Pause for the Cause, CINNAMON (Rotterdam, 2019); TABLEAU, ASHES/ASHES (New York, 2019). Recent group exhibitions: The 4 Gate Connection, Tatjana Pieters (Ghent, 2020); Doors of Paradise, Union Pacific (London, 2018); Superposition, Joshua Liner Gallery (New York, 2018). His works are featured in the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art; Museum of Recent Art / Romania; S.M.A.K. The Municipal Museum of Contemporary / Belgium; The Lewben Art Foundation / Lithuania; CELINE ART PROJECT / FRANCE; Paul Thiers Collection / Belgium; Alain Servais Family Collection / Belgium; Antoine De Werd Collection / The Netherlands; Tanguy Van De Weghe Collection / Belgium; Frédéric de Goldschmidt Collection / Belgium; Wang Jianlin Collection / China; Colin Fernandes Collection / US; Zuzāns Private Collection / Latvia.
Artist acknowledgements: Bianka Ģelze, Sabīne Skarule.
Supported by: Ministry of Culture, State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, KRASO, Absolut, Valmiermuižas alus.
This is one of the events of the Riga Summer Culture Programme. All events organised by the Riga City Council can be found on the Riga Summer Culture Programme website and followed on the “Rīga notiek” social media page.