30.9.2022 — 2.10.2022
The 2nd edition of Around Video Art Fair will take place 30 September – 2 October 2022 in Lille, France at the Moxy Lille City Hotel and is part of Lille3000 programme
At the Around Video Art Fair, Kogo Gallery will present video work, sculptures and digital drawings from the multimedia installation There’s No Harm in Any Blessings (2020) by Latvian artist Līga Spunde. The installation reflects relationships, the sense of security, overprotection and faith in the supernatural as a defence strategy.
The idea for the work originates from the artist’s experience with her mother. Although none of them are particularly religious, her loving mother brought her to see the travelling wonder-working icon Theotokos of Tikhvin while it was displayed in Riga, Latvia. When Līga asked why they were standing in a very long line of people to see the icon, her mother answered: “Believe me, there’s no harm in any blessings.”
The installation is a poetic collage of facts and interpretations of Spunde’s personal stories and motifs from David Vetter’s, The Bubble Boy’s, unusual life, which to this day continues to give rise to questions about the experiment’s ethics.
David Vetter was born on 21 September 1971, in the USA. Since birth, he suffered from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which made his survival impossible outside a sterile environment. As soon as David was born, his parents decided to put him in a special germ-free chamber until a solution for him acquiring immunity could be found. Instead of just a few months, David spent 12 years, i.e. his entire life span, in the chamber. Even though David was provided with conditions conducive for his survival, life in the “bubble” profoundly impacted his perception of and relationship with the outer world. Just like Spunde, Vetter too came from a loving family but his parents were religious, unlike hers. Faith in a miracle and his parents’ decision to protect him from the harsh and unsafe world became the central motif of his life.
The video work contains four parts, two of which take place in a dark, abstract space. In those parts, Spunde uses the dialogue written by Vetter from a book about the boy’s life in total isolation “Bursting the Bubble: The Tortured Life and Untimely Death of David Vetter” by Raymond J. Lawrence and Mary Ada Murphy. When David got very bored, he wrote short screenplays, which he would later play out together with his psychotherapist Mary Ada Murphy. The dialogue in the video is a short and simple conversation between a wife (Vetter) and a husband (Murphy), which shows the tragedy of David’s sterile, safe and isolated life, as well as his reaction to it.
Līga Spunde (b. 1990) is a visual artist based in Riga, Latvia. She presents her works as multimedia installations, intertwining personal stories with deliberate fiction. The interpretations and use of recognisable characters serve as an extension of her personal experiences, tapping into universal truths. The work’s content determines the conception’s physical form leading the artist to use various media and materials in her installations.
She completed her postgraduate studies in the Department of Visual Communication at the Art Academy of Latvia in 2016, her graduation project, The Hike, was named one of the three best projects by graduates of European art academies.
Spunde has participated in various exhibitions and art projects in Latvia and internationally. The most recent have been The Real Show (2022, CAC Brétigny, Paris), My Bitter Sweet Frankenstein Body (2022, Titanik, Turku), Screen Age III: Still Life (2022, Riga Photography Biennial, RMT, Riga), Cybervikings of Mars (2021, 427 Gallery, Riga), The Bambi Project (2021, Kogo Gallery, Tartu), Being Safe Is Scary, Survival Kit 11 (2020, Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, Riga), When Hell Is Full, the Dead Will Walk the Earth (2019, Kim? Contemporary art center, Riga), Melos (2019, Creative Art Space, Arsenāls, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga).
Represented artist: Līga Spunde
Curator: Šelda Puķīte
Project coordinator: Liina Raus
Communication: Karin Kahre, Kerli Jõgi
JPS Art Foundation
Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia
Cultural Endowment of Estonia
City of Tartu