Skuja Braden is an artist duo created in 1999 by Inguna Skuja from Latvia and Melissa D. Braden from California. It is a rather unusual phenomenon for the Latvian art scene, thanks to both direct and critical messages and the baroque intensity, as well as the insatiably bright form of expression.

At the Venice Biennale, you can see how organically and precisely the exposition created by Skuja Braden in the Latvian pavilion fits into the topic of the biennial, the true tone of which is set by newly discovered powerful and surprising artists working within the framework of surrealism who have been set aside on the last pages of history for a long time. Therefore, I cannot resist the temptation to think of Skuja Braden’s works in the context of the use of surreal language. In the works of these artists, reality is reversed and distorted, dreams and imagination merge with reality, references to mass culture and history alternate with their own mythology and vision.

“Acs ābola dzīru mielasts” (Feast your Eye) offers to look at the world without the application of usual notions, norms, clichés and prejudices — the eyeball has become the main character, whose tears of the world’s hypocrisy and evil turn into clear and springy notes, hitting the surface of the singing bowl.

Geisha, Marilyn, aliens, a young woman, the Buddha and other favourite characters of Skuja Braden are at the ceremonial feast table, affirming the possibility of an inclusive world in which the ideas of feminism coexist quite well with Buddhist theory, in which traditional gender roles do not exist, the distinction between a man and nature disappears, and in which the apples also have eyes.

Curator: Solvita Krese

Video: Toms Šķēle

The exhibition is supported by VKKF and Kurzemes Kultūras programma 2022.

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