On 16 October 2021, the performance by Anda Lāce “It’s hard to tell, whether it’s the pretence of the orgy volume or if everyone here has really suddenly got better” took place in Dome Square. It was created by the artist, reflecting on and confronting the solo exhibition “Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries” by the Austrian avant-garde classic Hermann Nitsch, which will be available for viewing at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga from 16 October to 12 December 2021.

In the 1960s, Hermann Nitsch (1938) formed the radical art movement of the 20th century – Viennese Actionism. Rituals and recreation are one of the most important components of this author’s work. Elements of ritual and recreation can also be observed in the works and performances by the Latvian artist Anda Lāce. In works by Nitsch, she is attracted by monumentality, the ritual and how lasting objects are created during the performance – paintings that contain a strong energy that has arisen by linking the ritual with the process of painting. However, the artist retains an analytically critical view of the work and results of the Viennese classic. With a similar observation, Anda Lāce addresses both herself and others, as well as the society of Latvia as a whole, on the background of all the current processes, studying the lack of human love or its false portrayal, and submission to false prophets of the crowd.

During the performance “It’s hard to tell, whether it’s the pretence of the orgy volume or if everyone here has really suddenly got better”, Anda Lāce created a new art object in Dome Square, working with sponge shapes and colours. The artist worked on a large plane facing the central monumental portal of the Latvian Radio building, which has a figurative composition at its gable – an allegory of prosperity and well-being.

The approximately hour-long performance was created in collaboration with composer Evija Skuķe, a French horn player, and a vocal ensemble that is present in the performance space. In the music of the performance, landscapes of sound and harmonious layering could be heard, as well as individual shout outs and elements of speech – two timbral worlds that responded to the actions of Anda Lāce. This event resonated with the urban elements of Dome Square and the urban life flowing past it that was once important to Viennese actionists.

 

Video: Daniels Veiss

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