|MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING ON THE MONITOR OR A STORY ABOUT THE ABSENCE OF ANY STORY, SINCE THE STORY IS MEANINGLES |
There seems to be no misconception in viewing Jukas as a showing of works by Ojārs Pētersons' students, so I begin my acquaintance with Jukas with the teacher, looking at Pētersons' solo exhibition "The Orange Hole" at the Arsenāls Creative Studio, held simultaneously with Jukas. The teacher's installation is a temple - a video to be viewed in peace and tranquillity, showing the artist carefully and unhurriedly creating some object, the object itself being displayed on the opposite wall. The orange light box with a self-portrait of Pētersons as an icon exudes serenity, conviction and peaceful self-satisfaction.
In this simple and light work (an ouroboros, or serpent devouring its own tail), the work itself is contrasted with, or, quite the contrary, paired with, a documentation of the working process. Without artificial tension, dramatisation or intellectual weight. What you see is what you get. The only possible charge we can make against perfection is that it's too boring. But that in itself is no serious charge, since we can clearly see a difference between a mature individual who needs to prove nothing to anyone any more, and some quite active and ambitious young people wishing to draw attention to themselves at any price. Unfortunately, no further conclusions may be derived from this comparison, at least not in the context of Jukas.
|JUKAS 2005 : TRADITION OR AMBITION? |
Sometimes, nuances are significant. Thus, Jukas could imply "real mayhem" or else just "polite confusion". Owing to a few articles in the press, the feeble exhibition stand at Riga City Council and the exhibition at the State Museum of Art, the term jukas (turmoil, disarray, confusion) has become associated in my mind with historical events: "a time of turmoil" and the Revolution of 1905 - a time when anarchy threatens to rip open both form and people's minds. The title Jukas for the event held at the Arsenāls Exhibition Hall undeniably is a decorative one - a kind of badge of restlessness on the breast of institution. What was the task of the exhibition? The Latvian viewer is rarely treated to exhibitions of this kind with such a large number of participating artists, on such a scale and with such a high standard of display of the works, so the Jukas exhibition may be regarded either as revealing one section of the rarely-viewed creative scene of young artists, or else as showing its "parade stance".