and suddenly it all blossoms
RIBOCA2 film premiere and panel discussion at AB7: ECLIPSE
SUNDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2021 | 18:30 | Former Department Store FOKAS
The Athens Biennale and the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA) in collaboration with the International Biennial Association (IBA) invite you on Sunday, November 21, at 18:30 to the premiere of RIBOCA2 film, and suddenly it all blossoms, in Athens. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
and suddenly it all blossoms is the transformation of the homonymous 2nd Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art into a feature film, following the abrupt stop of RIBOCA's plans by the rapid spread of COVID-19 just a few weeks before the opening; a journey through the complexities of our time that shifts between hopes, desires, and doubts, unfolding in a Tarkovskian set, guided by the artworks of RIBOCA2.
Following the aspiration of the International Biennial Association to foster cooperation and dialogue between biennials assuring for the model to remain an active laboratory for the most relevant artistic and cultural practices worldwide, this encounter functions as an opportunity to open a dialogue around how biennials can cooperate and in which ways multiple discourses can merge to open relevant questions about what biennials represent today.
The participation of Inese Dabola (and suddenly it all blossoms film producer, director of RIBOCA strategic partnerships), Katerina Gregos (Director of EMST, the Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art and Chief Curator of RIBOCA1), Christian Oxenius (Independent Curator, Head of Research and Content Manager for IBA), and Poka-Yio (Founding Director of Athens Biennale and Artistic Director of the 7th Athens Biennale ECLIPSE) will ensure a lively discussion linking two biennials and their wider artistic communities.
In March 2020, plans for the second edition of the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA2), a major international contemporary art event, were abruptly stopped by the rapid spread of COVID-19 just a few weeks before the opening. Chief curator Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel decided to transform the exhibition into a film set, reimagining the biennial as a feature film in anticipation of the closure of all public events in summer 2020. The resulting film was shot during the exhibition's three-week run. From September 2021, and suddenly it all blossoms has been screened in London, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Basel, and Riga, and will have its premiere in Athens on November 21. The screening, organised by Athens Biennale, will take place at the main venue of the 7th Athens Biennale ECLIPSE - the former Department Store FOKAS.
RIBOCA2, and suddenly it all blossoms, was developed out of the urgent pursuit for alternative perspectives and propositions to humanity's obsession for growth, expansion, and consumption. From 20 August - 13 September 2020, 46 international artists shared the abandoned and iconic industrial space of Andrejsala in Riga. The exhibition sought to reimagine the ways humans inhabit the world and to explore ideas for building conscious and inclusive relationships with an endangered planet.
Chief curator, artistic director and scriptwriter Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel invited the acclaimed Latvian film director Dāvis Sīmanis to co-direct the film, collaborating with his team including Andrejs Rudzāts as director of photography. Singer and songwriter LAFAWNDAH created the film's soundtrack, guiding viewers through the story.
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel comments:
From its inception, the Biennial exhibition was about the possibility of reenchantment. Not to wish for another world, but to build renewed and constructive relationships within the endangered world we inhabit. When the epidemic started and our original plans collapsed, there was no option but to accept this situation and grow from it. The partly finished exhibition, the absent works, the aborted scenography, the transformation of the exhibition into a film set, and the film itself, are the children of this event. The experience was incredibly intense, yet opened so many horizons, giving us the chance to make the project resonate even more with the challenges we are facing today and their urgent call for reinvention.
Works by Pawel Althamer, Kristaps Ancāns, Félicia Atkinson, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Nina Beier, Oliver Beer, Hicham Berrada, Dora Budor, Eglė Budvytytė, Valdis Celms, Edith Dekyndt, Erika Eiffel, Vija Eniņa, Miķelis Fišers, Heinz Frank, Cyprien Gaillard, Bendik Giske, Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen, Katrin Hornek, Marguerite Humeau, Pierre Huyghe, IevaKrish, Mikhail Karikis and Uriel Orlow, Agnese Krivade, Lina Lapelytė and Mantas Petraitis, Eva L’Hoest, Hanne Lippard, Mikhail Maksimov, MAREUNROL‘S, Berenice Olmedo, Dominika Olszowy, Sarah Ortmeyer, Philippe Petit, Bridget Polk, Ugo Rondinone, Jaanus Samma, Tomás Saraceno, Augustas Serapinas, Timur Si-Qin, Nikolay Smirnov, Anastasia Sosunova, Daina Taimiņa are featured in the film.
and suddenly it all blossoms | Synopsis
The film and suddenly it all blossoms is a journey through the complexities of our time, shifting between hopes, desires, and doubts around our present moment. It follows a voice whose perspective on our disconcerting global situation unfolds as a meditation, guided and prompted by the exhibition's artworks. The set itself - a Tarkovskian ecosystem of a decommissioned power station, an abandoned paintball field, warehouses, bird colonies, cruise ships and railway lines amongst empty lots and wastelands - exists as a metaphor for the ruptures of Soviet ideals and capitalist hopes. Presented as one continuous shot, the film is a reflection of standing on thresholds in a world suspended between old and new times. The drifting narrative remains tied closely to its setting, learning and growing from the Latvian and Baltic context, where 'worlds have ended' many times over through centuries of occupations, wars and economical upheavals, rebirths, and reinventions.
and suddenly it all blossoms, 2021, Latvia, 74'
Directors: Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel, Dāvis Sīmanis
Director of photography: Andrejs Rudzāts
Script: Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel
Produced by Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art
The making of the film was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.
Photo Credit: The process of shooting the film, on set with work by Katrin Hornek, A Landmass to Come. Commissioned by the 2nd Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, RIBOCA2. Photo by Kristīne Madjare. Courtesy of the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art.