Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award

As a part of the Tallinn Biennial program Artist Crisis Center is open from 2 until 9 of July in the welcoming premises of ARS project room “to provide support for the creative types cheated by Fortune or beaten by the hooves of Pegasus,” as its authors Ieva Kraule-Kūna and Elīna Vītola say. When trying to find out a little more about their method I am suddenly in a Socratic situation where questions are bounced back and it becomes quickly clear that all the answers hide inside the asker. Dear reader – do you dare to reveal your own questions? Do you dare to step inside the Center?

One can’t help it that the title of your project – Artist Crisis Center – brings to mind another crisis – the corona crisis. How has this affected the artists, in Latvia and all around the world?

Isolation, low or no income and poor physical condition are the norm for our clientele. We haven’t noticed any changes lately. But if you feel affected by the corona (or any other) crisis – we are ready to help. Do you feel affected by the corona?

The centre will be located at ARS art factory in Tallinn. How does this place feel?

We feel that this is the place where Artist Crisis Center could really make an impact and bring positive change as the density of our target demographic that populates this building makes it inevitable. Will you be there too?

You have set up the centre once before at LOW Gallery in Riga last year in October. What was your inspiration back then?

At a certain age, you just have a need to give back to society. It was a calling, not an inspiration – Artist Crisis Center created itself and us as well. To serve those in need. To serve you. How can we help you?

In your introductory text, you have mentioned both Fortuna – the goddess of luck and fate – and Pegasus – the winged horse who symbolizes talent and free spirit. If we may play with these symbols, which role do luck and talent have in case of a successful artist? Which one of them is more important?

Successful artist? Have you met one?

And the rest of your introduction feels like a true chamber of art therapy! Can we say that art offers consolation? May it end up in perdition as well?

Art brings only pain and sorrow.

Artist Crisis Center offers temporary relief for those in need. Have you been affected by art? Do you feel perdition creeping on you?

Which has been your own deepest crisis?

Our deepest Crisis is your deepest Crisis. What has been your deepest Crisis?

Please tell a little about yourself – who you are and where do you come from, how do you define yourselves?

We are artists just like other artists and also LOWERS. We try not to define ourselves and our clients as well. Identity is a complex thing. Do you identify yourself?

And who are your colleagues whose works are donated to the crisis centre?

Our regulars are extremely gifted artists from various backgrounds, career stages and generations:

Normunds Brasliņš, Anna Ceipe, F5, Alexei Gordin, Flo Kasearu, Darja Meļņikova, Ieva Putniņa, Kristīne Kursiša, Maija Kurševa, Klāvs Upacieris, Ojārs Pētersons, Juris Pudāns, Līva Rutmane, Līga Spunde, Kristaps Zariņš, Amanda Ziemele. Can you spot them at the Artist Crisis Center?

Does a work of art have a soul?

The soul is in the soul of the beholder. Do you have a soul?