“In response to the war in our region, we do not see it possible to open the third Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art this year. The exhibition, curated by René Block, titled ‘Exercises in Respect’ and previously planned to open 15th July – 2nd October 2022, must be postponed, and we hope to open it in the summer of 2023.
In times like these, to envision working towards an exhibition that was supposed to be a vast celebration of art, respect and togetherness feels inconceivable whilst heinous crimes are still being committed in Ukraine. We strongly condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine and are united with everyone who calls for an immediate end of the war.
As a contemporary art institution, it is our responsibility to provide a space where artists and the public can interact, engage in discussions, and reflect on our realities. Therefore, together with artists, other art and cultural institutions, curators, and art professionals, we are initiating an open discussion to rethink the art industry’s place in the wider world. We must reconsider the validity of the biennial format in times like these. There must be discourse on how the art world and biennials can influence and engage societies during periods of war and conflict. What kind of platform for expression and exchange do artists, curators, and our society need?
Our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering in this war. This is an unimaginable tragedy where no one should remain indifferent. We express our enormous respect to everyone who does not keep quiet and is helping those in need.