Opening of the project "Slash" / June 18-19



kim? Contemporary Art Centre is pleased to invite you to the opening of the project Slash on June 18-19 at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, gallery 427 and Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum. The project is included in the official EuroPride 2015 programme.

You can support Slash



Participants: Tom of Finland, Aleesa Cohene, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Lucas Foletto Celinski, Atis Jākobsons, Vladislavs Nastavševs, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Armīns Ozoliņš, Edgars Ozoliņš, Karol Radziszewski, Wolfgang Tillmans, Vilnis Vējš.

Curated by Kaspars Vanags
Curator of display of Tom of Finland art works and ephemera: Gary Everett

The opening of the exhibition: June 18, 7pm – 9pm.
Venue: kim? Contemporary Art Centre

June 19 – August 2, 2015


The exhibition Slash: In Between the Normative and Fantasy is the first time a public art institution in Latvia is turning towards “slashes” among contemporary art expression. More than 20 years had to pass since the decriminalization of homosexuality for such an exhibition, influenced by the digitalisation of personal life, to be possible - borrowing from the open-source mentality. The other, here, isn’t juxtaposed to the norm as something locked in the solitude of an individual strangeness or an impossible taboo, but as an awareness of an essentially recognizable, reachable, and modifiable aspect of personal identity.

Stuck between the norm and fantasy, the slash questions the self-explanatory about sexual orientation. It questions the difference between identity and belonging, between belonging and decency.  It does not concern only homosexuality, but a whole range of issues, which sometimes dart and zigzag through our minds. For the bent, the queer, first and foremost has to do with the right to be asexual and is unlikely to lead to pining for polyandry. The starting point here is to be found outside the context of partnership: it is the reflection of the queer on the self and an inner dialogue with the imagined possibilities aroused by the surrounding environment. Imagination is universal, therefore seductive art is meant even for the conservative. Straightness may lift one straight to heaven, but if we consider the infinite outside the Euclidian geometric framework, then the relationship between two parallel lines turns out to be less than straightforward, a little slanted, allowing for them to meet at some point.

The group exhibition consists of works that hold a friction between imagination and reality, with unexpected flickers of synergy in the place of routine sparks. The different fusion samples are of a variety of structures. There are fragments of personal stories, micro-history notes without any pretence to the status of an artwork, as well as art installations of a conceptual nature without narrative features. There are poetic subversions of the hetero-normative dominant in mass media, presented in a video format, and nearby – charcoal drawings, where the plaster casts of Roman busts, ubiquitous in the academic art education system, have seemingly lost their cast in stone identities. The stories of intimate human relations and changes brought by the changing of time are addressed by various photo series, and daily artefacts unexpectedly surfaced from the past proclaim a certain message.

Knitting together the period before the decriminalization of homosexuality in Latvia with the queer interpretations of the turn of the 21st century in contemporary art is an exercise in the tightrope walking of communication. Thus an almost atrophied form of communication, which is nevertheless crucial in any attempt to revisit the past, the letter, pops up here and there among the works included in the exhibition. Letters are placed in glass cases as documentary evidence of history, or serve as epistolary forms of social sculpture. At a time when you can officially stick a stamp with a Tom of Finland’s homoerotic drawing on an envelope, you might think that shortly before becoming extinct even the most conservative type of communication has succeeded in integrating the outsiders. How such a letter might reach its addressee in Latvia is one of the footnote questions of the Slash exhibition.

The exhibition includes work from the archives of Tom of Finland and Edgars Ozoliņš, and by the following participants:  Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst (USA), Lucas Foletto-Celinski (Brazil, Germany), Atis Jākobsons (Latvia), Aleesa Cohene (Canada), Vladislas Nastavševs (Latvia), Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Canada, Germany), Armīns Ozoliņš (Latvia), Karol Radziszewski (Poland), Wolfgang Tillmans (Germany), Vilnis Vējš (Latvia).


Image: Lucas Foletto Celinski



Kaspars Vanags is an art and culture theoretician. In the 90ties worked as a curator, together with like-minded thinkers in the fellowship Open organizing inter-disciplinary events, where he mixed visual art with trending rave music. Created projects in which art has a critical role of a social platform, turning against or creating an alternative to consumerism culture (Slideplays (2000); Subversion in the city (2001)). Later turned to studies of art history, obtained a degree in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Lives in Berlin, where has worked as a maker of exhibitions and art critic. Curator of the Latvian exhibition in the 56th International Venice Biennale.

Gary Everett is the founder and current artistic director of Homotopia Liverpool.  He produces an annual festival in the UK and works extensively internationally with projects in Finland, Sweden and Turkey. Recently he curated April Ashley, Portrait of a lady at Museum of Liverpool & extended twice due to popularity attracting record audiences of 930,000. Curated the year-long Tom of Finland Retrospective as part of Turku's European Capital of Culture 2011 which attracted 90,000, which then toured to Kulturhuset Stockholm in 2012.  Currently curating a major new project on the life of Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland) which opens in Turku in 2017. In December 2014 he was judged 53rd in the 100 most influential LGBT people in Britain in the Independent on Sunday's annual Pink List.


Collaboration partners: Homotopia, ISSP, MooiMan, Tom of Finland Foundation, 427, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Association of Memorial Museums.

Special thanks to: Gabriel Burkett, Taavi Einaste and Ernests Karlsons.

Supporters: State Culture Capital Foundation, United States Embassy in Riga, Embassy of Finland in Latvia, Embassy of Canada to Latvia, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Riga, VKN, Absolut, BIRZĪ, Valmiermuižas alus, Mozaīka, Satori, Rīgas Laiks,, Rīga TV24.

kim? Contemporary Art Centre
Maskavas Street 12/1

Opening hours:
Tue: 12pm - 8pm
Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun.: 12pm - 6pm

Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian while visiting the exhibition.



Matthew Lutz-Kinoy

Organized by gallery 427 in collaboration with kim? Contemporary Art Centre

The opening of the exhibition: June 18, 6pm – 9pm.
Venue: gallery 427

June 19 – July 3, 2015


At the core of Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s practice is the performance-based production of fantastic space. Deeply influenced by histories of collaborative and queer practice, his research-based performances have taken shape as multi-act dance productions, traveling dinner parties, and programmed events within his exhibitions.

Princess PomPom in the Villa of Falling Flowers presents itself as a dramatic exhaustion to the 427 gallery space. The narrative of the classic piece of Japanese Literature Genji Monogatari - The Tale of Prince Genji is being introduced as an environment study who’s protagonists are all equally degenderized and presented as an oversized scroll painting.

At the windows of the room cloudy character studies made of string hang from the ceiling. Gallery visitors are invited to enter the story through texture and not through text.

Matthew Lutz-Kinoy


Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (1984, New York) lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles. He completed the Rijksakademie international artist residency in Amsterdam in 2010 and his undergraduate degree at The Cooper Union School of Art, New York in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: Port, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles; Lutz-Kinoy’s Loose Bodies, Elaine - Museum für Gegenwarts Kunst, Basel (2013); Matthew’s Secret, Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam (2013); Werk is Free / Be Free! May Day, Outpost, Norwich, UK (2013); and KERAMIKOS - a touring exhibition with Natsuko Uchino at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Elaine Museum für Ge- genwarts Kunst, Basel and Villa Romana Florence (2012-2013). He has staged performances at the Kunsthalle Baden- Baden; Nomas Foundation, Rome; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the New Museum, New York. His videos have been screened at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Berlinale Film Festival; New Museum, New York; and White Chapel Gallery, London.

Supporters: State Cultural Capital Foundation, VKN, Mozaīka, Rīgas Laiks,, Rīga TV24.

Gallery 427
Elijas iela 20, Riga

Working hours:
Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun: closed
Wed, Thurs: 4pm – 7pm or by appointment



Inga Meldere

Organized by kim? Contemporary Art Centre

The opening of the exhibition: June 19, 4pm – 6pm. The exhibition opening will be accompanied by a chant by Pēteris Draguns
Venue: Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum

June 20 – August 2, 2015


Inga Meldere’s pocket size exhibition, part of the exhibition Slash: In Between the Normative and the Fantasy and in collaboration with the Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum, is taking place in the Blaumanis memorial room. At the heart of this episode stands the pursuit of thematic topics – discussions, which in the last decades could be observed among the milieu of historians in Latvian literature and literates that entirely through insinuations deal with these 19th and 20th century Latvian grand writers’ sexual orientation (sources: Zigmunds Skujiņš Siržu zagļa uznāciens (The Entrance of the Heart Robber) (2001), Līvija Volkova Blaumaņa zelts (The Gold of Blaumanis) (2008), Anna Kuzina Blaumanis tuvplānā (Blaumanis’ Close-up) (2013)).

As precedents and vivid examples of Inga Meldere’s interest in using the museum intervention genre, similar collaboration formats can be mentioned - a chain of memorial museums in Europe have invited artists: the Freud Museum in London has created such an exhibition program, The John Soane Museum (London), Huntly House (Edinburgh), and The Brothers Grimm Museum (Berlin). Inviting artists to work with the permanent exhibition to enhance it with creative free interpretations and or comments of an emotional character, curators and historians remind us of the duality of historic facts, which are made by the selection principle’s equivocalness and personal motives.

The mainstay of the exhibition is the Rūdolfs Blaumanis letter correspondence, with its tutorial love for young literary talents which deserve the writer’s own anxiety, and show how such emotions could be interpreted further in society. In using the writer’s legendary fur, included in the exposition, as a shelter, bosom and an explosive light body symbol – being warm, all encompassing, fatherly, brotherly - the artist is interested in observing whether our prejudice for homosocial relationships doesn’t limit and divide the wide colour palette, where the friendship forms of the romantic era could and do glisten.


Inga Meldere. Writers Room. 2015


Inga Meldere (1979) lives and works in Helsinki and Riga. She works mainly with painting. Her gently coated canvases, characterized by their light and pastel tones, fragile combinations of materials and techniques, often depict apparently naive-seeming narratives inspired by personal memories and family events. Recent solo exhibitions include Bērzkalni (2015), gallery G12, Helsinki. Magic Mountain (2014), gallery XO, Riga; Untitled (2013) together with Oscar Santillan at Temnikova & Kasela gallery; Enough is Enough (2011) with Mikko Hintz at Temnikova & Kasela gallery; Offset (2011), gallery XO, Riga. Group shows: Le fragole del Baltico (2015) Careof, Milan; Tides of Change. Balticum (2011) HangART-7, Salzburg, Austria; FAX (2011) South London Gallery, London, England; Mother of Wind (2010) HFBK gallery, Hamburg, Germany. Meldere’s work was also included in the Vilnius Painting Triennial in 2010.

Supporters: State Cultural Capital Foundation, Embassy of Finland in Latvia, VKN, Absolut, BIRZĪ, Valmiermuižas alus, Mozaīka, Rīgas Laiks,, Rīga TV24.

Special thanks to: the installation construction design author Mikko Hintz, and Didzis Breidaks.

Janis Rozentāls and Rūdolfs Blaumanis Museum
Alberta iela 12-9, Rīga

Working hours:
Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 11am – 6pm
Wed.: 11am – 7pm
Mon, Tue.: closed