Many years ago, Ivars Grāvlejs decided to return to Riga for a year to rediscover the city of his childhood. What he discovered was that the first ten years of freedom had created, as much as in other post-Soviet republics, a new oligarchy. Within this period of time, Latvian industry lost 40 percent of its production capacities. Social inequalities were constantly growing, and the whole country was falling into a bigger and bigger circle of unemployment. Around 23 percent of Latvians were without a job, and more than 12 percent of the population worked abroad. Using tricksteric anthropological methods, Grāvlejs explored the socio-economic context of Latvia’s capital city, resulting in the creation of several video works. Now, more than a decade later, we can reevaluate if something has really changed.
The exhibition RIGA (in collaboration with Czech artist Petra Pětiletá) was first opened in Karlin Studios, Prague and in Riga Art Space, Riga, in 2012. WAR for TERRITORY is one of the works from that project.