The Future State

174 year old Melānijs Bloka experiences enlightenment on the shore of the Baltic lake during a frosty thunderstorm, 2017, pine wood and oil paint

A contemporary art exhibition made within the framework of Latvia’s Centenary Programme, The Future State was launched on the 22nd of February and will be open for visitors up until the 20th of May at the ARSENĀLS exhibition hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga.

Exhibition theme has been created by Elita Ansone, also, the curator of the project. It is centered around the puzzling nature and possibly a confusing image of what the future country will resemble. Within this framework over twenty artists have been invited to envision what might be looming ahead. Particularly Aigars Bikše’s work has been located in the repository of LNMA sculptures and object collection. Positioning it among the objects of former topicality serves its purpose – it is not merely limited to visitors’ observation but dismantles the bounds of past, present and future.

The work 174 year old Melānijs Bloka experiences enlightenment on the shore of the Baltic lake during a frosty thunderstorm exhibits a compilation of inner and outer transformation. Brought together under the title of this wooden sculpture are two distinct things – experience of exalted elevation and intersexuality.

It was during a residency in Japan when the idea for the sculpture first came about and, subsequently, the sketches were made. In Buddhist tradition a particular emanation of the Buddha is a man who had become compassionate, kind and attentive towards the world through enlightenment and was thereby partially transformed into a female form. Here the emphasis is on the individual experience – an inner spiritual journey whereby the physical transformation serves as means of expression. It seems a compelling idea to envision the spirituality and exalted elevation in the foreground, leaving the gender-specifics in the background. The feminine and masculine are seen in a different manner from the Western world.

Depiction of an intersex person within the context of Latvian patriarchal society is not a statement on its own although it may easily be perceived as such. Intersexuality is rather a flashing example that represents what cannot be easily accepted or even tolerated. It vividly exemplifies the close relation between our cultural background and morality – the biased and dogmatic vision of our existence. Meanwhile, the exalted elevation is not as easy to bypass – the piety towards the mystical moment of enlightenment persists regardless of cultural background. The work attends the contradictions within a cultural system on its own.

What am I prepared to recognize?

What am I willing to accept and tolerate?

 

Representation of the Buddha having partially taken a female form /Temple, Rikuzentakata, Japan 2017/