The eighth international contemporary art festival Survival Kit 8 is taking place this autumn from September 8 to 25. This year, in response to observations and current affairs, the festival focuses on the acupuncture of society, viewing our modern-day society as a body and searching for and locating its most painful points. In addition to the main exhibition, special attention is devoted to putting together a varied programme of events, which offers meditation workshops and shamanistic performances led by artists, pseudo-religious film screenings and critical multidisciplinary discussions. The festival is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Inga Lāce, one of the exhibition curators, notes: “Acupuncture, as a metaphor for testing the sensitive societal zones, has not been selected randomly. During the last few years, our society has grown increasingly more interested in alternative medicine, esotericism and suggestion. Eastern spiritualism is becoming ever more present in today’s techno-utopian world. Could this interest be interpreted as an escape from reality, a new lifestyle accessory or a key to an alternative survival, all along knowing that the tools and methods currently at our disposal no longer offer the desired result?”
The home of this year’s Survival Kit 8 is C. C. von Stritzky's villa at Aristida Briāna Street 9, which can be likened to a phoenix being reborn in the cultural space of Riga. Solvita Krese, another curator of the festival, explains this choice of location: “Survival Kit has always been engaged in urban mapping – it follows developments and changes that take place in the city. We came across this historical monument, C. C. von Stritzky's villa, which has been empty and abandoned since 2000 but now, thanks to well-meaning guardians, has begun to re-establish itself as a new cultural location in Riga. It has tremendous potential."