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TEMPORARY.LV – 
LINDA VILKA

“Boredom / Long Time” - A cycle of exhibitions featuring four young artists and their interpretation of process, time and space.

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

JEZGA_TemporaryLV_LindaVilka_36JEZGA_TemporaryLV_LindaVilka_36

Exhibition at temporary.lv

Seaside, the sound of waves hitting the sand, a summer breeze, an empty space, time – long, short, dragging on, going too fast. What used to be the canteen of a fish processing factory will, between 10th of July - 4th of August, house a cycle of exhibitions featuring a different artist each week. Sigita Sniegs, Paulīne Kalniņa, William Jones, and Tīna Pētersone will each present their own interpretation of the theme “Garlaicība (Boredom) / Long Time”. 

The first cycle of exhibitions by the newly founded temporary.lv has a strong tie to its location, a micro-utopian environment in a state of transformation at the hands of each individual artist's process.

temporary.lv is a new experimental art gallery, founded by scenographer and visual artist Krišjānis Elviks, and curator Tīna Pētersone. Combining site-specific and interdisciplinary exhibitions (with an interactive and stimulating online platform) process becomes not only the means, but part of the actual result for us to devour. We are challenged in how we look at art – about time. 

Linda Vilka is a Latvian multidisciplinary artist and storyteller, currently completing her MA in Environmental Arts at the Art Academy of Riga. Having recently collaborated with us as a contributing designer to JEZGA Vol. 3, we're happy to see Linda's work in the flesh at temporary.lv, and to have a chance to talk more with her about ever evolving artworks, overthinking typography, and why it's important to interrupt the everyday.

Can you tell us a bit more about the what medium/materials you have chosen to work with for this exhibition?

I myself am a traveling solo show – where the artist, space and even the observer merge together – so from a technical standpoint, everything is foldable and easy to travel with. 

The start of these pieces can be found in Vilnius, where I had to spend most of my Erasmus exchange process in a 3x3 metre room because of the pandemic. Often work by looking for specific rural, forgotten or unusual surroundings that connect to me emotionally – thus there was an inner struggle to look at this room as my only ‘scenery’, the only place to exist, create and even exhibit. So, not only are there new works, but also a new creation process behind it. 

A day before the lockdown started, I went to the nearest department store and bought everything imaginable that could be used for creating, as a precaution to ensure that period would be productive – and it was.  I even had to order more materials, as I’d run out of everything pretty early on; I guess I expected to have a forced creative period. 

So, there in this little room I started to track my breakdowns, visualize them. The new piece is the one in the centre of the room (close to 6 metres wide) which I used as a diary of some kind, or more like an answering machine to leave some unwanted messages on. There’s a chance that it will be continued some day and more layers will be added until very little light passes through. But for now, if you’re lucky enough, and the sun is favourable to you, there’s a chance to see a glimpse of an additional work – shadows on the floor from the painted fabric perfectly recreating the pattern you see entering the exhibition. 

When does time pass quickly for you? And when does it pass very slowly?

Time passes differently all the time, depending of where my head is at that moment. But usually it goes on the contrary of what I’m hoping for. It depends of many aspects, like the levels of stress, excitement, fear etc. 

Maybe it should (or already is) a math formula - how much stress+excitement+fear you need to add together to experience time passing slower, but then adding even more fear to make it go faster.
 

Installation on set of the short film “Unconditional"

Installation on set of short film “Unconditional"

In what way did the location of this exhibition affect your preparation and process for it?

I have always been more drawn to more rural places, with little noticeable art to the naked eye. At first. But when you start to analyse them deeper, it unravels almost yet unknown art forms. A huge part of it is people there – what routes they take each day, their way of expression – as the core values for these smaller places are set in their residents. 

I myself come from a small place called Tārgale, near Ventspils, so interfering with a place that isn’t used to these type of artistic expressions feels natural to me. It doesn’t throw me off. For example, last autumn I re-opened a bar that was quite popular from the USSR era until 2007, which holds strong memories for everyone there. I re-opened it for one night only, but it’s already been referred to as ‘the event of the decade’ in the village. Sometimes rural works better than urban, because outside of the big cities it seems more unusual, it briefly interrupts their everyday life and leaves a more lasting impression. And it’s necessary to feel interrupted, for sure. 

What about the current art climate bores you?

UNTITLED art.

It can sometimes feel like the world is developing in a very rapid pace - how do you as an artist ground yourself and your practice, to keep moving forward with it?

I talk to myself. I question myself and my beliefs at that specific moment. I fight and reconcile with myself.  

It all depends on one’s routine. For me, the feeling of anxiousness and disconnection from the process is a reminder that there’s a need to reset, restart and recharge. That is the moment I know that I need to go back home and do exactly that. It’s like a trigger I have developed over these years. And it’s important to notice these moments and what emotions accompany which. 

There have been moments of me ignoring this internal need and that’s usually when I find myself drained completely, not being able to function and regain my strength that easily. 

"Sometimes rural works better than urban, because outside of the big cities it seems more unusual, it briefly interrupts their everyday life and leaves a more lasting impression."

There’s a moving / transforming element to this exhibition, in the form of you making daily changes - can you tell us more about this?

The idea is to feed that urge to move around elements in an already finished exhibition layout. There is a chance of added movement, depending on the day and inner urge to do so. It can be a motion from wind, a brush stroke on the floor, an added piece. It’s close to unpredictable, visiting more than once could help. 

What is 'temporary' to you?

There are times that I would say, memory – even with it being one of the primary functions that nudges us or lets us experience a past moment, even when you’re moving forward. I have had some trouble with my memory, especially after me saying to my grandmother, “It would be nice to forget all the small details, all the faces of passers-by. Why is it necessary at all? I wish I could forget all of this that takes up so much of my mind. Just clean it all out. Get rid of it.” 

And it happened. That’s something I had to learn the hard way. It isn’t really that great to lose even the slightest part, even the part you think is a waste. Also, it furthermore showed the effectiveness of what’s said out loud. 

You work a lot with text, as well as quite a specific colour scheme - how do you go about making these choices?

Often these texts just appear from nowhere, sometimes in English, sometimes in Latvian. I leave them as they come, with no need of translation. For me words get attached to specific colours, as a way to highlight the power within them. But again, it all is connected to subconsciousness. 

I work with different mediums, but text is a weird thing to work with.  A part of a word can move around and all of the sudden it has three different meanings, a colour can show the subtext, a higher letter can show a glimpse into what emotion was present that time.  Or maybe I just think too much about text – but even in the biggest nonsense, I enjoy finding a gem of concept. 

I was sure that in my work I would never write, add text or just use letters? Never. But one day after another breakdown at a hostel in the Netherlands I couldn’t express myself any other way and I just started to write about what annoyed me, what angered me, then what humoured me and then what calmed me. I still have those 200 or so cards from that time and once in a while I look over them, so I don’t forget how it felt to have a breakthrough, so that next time I know how to deal with it. 

Exhibition at temporary.lv

The work of Linda Vilka will be exhibited by temporary.lv between 31 July - 4 August 2020.
See more of Linda's work 
@vilkk_lindd

temporary.lv exhibition 'GARLAICĪBA / LONG TIME' can be seen in Plieņciems, Latvia from July 10 2020 – August 4 2020.
For more info visit
@temporary.lv