The opening ceremony of Kristaps Epners’ solo exhibition “Gymnastics” will take place on 19 May at the NOASS Floating Arts Centre

Kristaps Epners is known as an artist and a graphic designer, who holds a Master’s degree from the Art Academy of Latvia’s Visual Communication Department and has participated in exhibitions both in Latvia and overseas since 1996. He has received several awards for his graphic design and video works including the France–Baltic Video Art Festival Award in 1993, as well as two Latvian Art Directors Club Adwards Festival Awards (in 2006 and 2011). One of the artist’s best-known works, which he has been working on for nearly four years now, is “The Run”. In it, the artist’s experiences derived from his running ritual are immortalised in various forms of expression.

In the exhibition “Gymnastics”, which will take place from 20 May at the NOASS Floating Arts Centre, artist Kristaps Epners’ field of interest concentrates on studies of the movement of the human body – in this case that of a budding professional gymnast, as well as the idiosyncratic environment and apparatus that are part and parcel of the gymnast’s daily life.

In the gymnasium, there is a special atmosphere and relationship between trainers and pupils, in which one senses not only an unwritten agreement and code of behaviour, but also the collective family awareness, which interacts with a highly focused individual.

In gymnastics, the only acceptable reference point is a perfectly executed canon of movement. For hours, days, months and even years, the same basic elements of movement are repeated in a relentless effort to achieve an ideal.

During gymnastics, time not only slows down, but occasionally freezes as the gymnast’s body moves, performing what seem to be one and the same routines.

The gymnasium is the gymnasts’ temple. The absolute goal of this effort, discipline and these endless exercises is the most purely executed figure of movement possible, while the cyclical exercises strive to achieve as straight a line as possible.

Kristaps Epners Video fragments

 

The exhibition “Gymnastics” at the NOASS Floating Arts Centre (AB dambis 2, Riga) will be on view from 20 May to 24 July. The gallery is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00 – 19:00.
Supported by: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, Riga Gymnastics School, AS “RERE Group”, VFS Films, kim? and VPT Group.

by: Kate Zilgalve

The Baltic Review
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