The 2011 Cēsis Art Festival Cesis, Latvia 23 July – 6 August, 2011
The fifth annual Cēsis Art Festival opens on 23 July and runs through 6 August. The general image of the festival is defined by a synthesis of a diversity of art genres; the project aims at distributing contemporary culture beyond the Latvian capital and presenting it in the variety of its manifestations to the largest possible territory and audience.
The festival opens on 23 July with an extensive programme which will keep some of the most eager consumers of art busy through the day and into the wee hours. The opening event of the festival programme, Experiment and Excellence, an international interdisciplinary panel discussion hosted at the Conference Hall of the Cēsis Castle, is also launching an identically titled international project which will culminate at next summer's Cēsis Festival. Music, art, theatre, architecture, design and film professionals from Latvia, Lithuania and Russia will be joined by the internationally acclaimed artist Sergei Bugaev 'Afrika' from St Petersburg whose own creativity and way of thinking will take the spotlight later, when his multi-medial project John Cage in Russia and Worldwide will be presented to the viewers at the Old Barn of the Cēsis Castle. At midnight Afrika, joined by his friend Rubik madDog (France), will be expecting everyone in the courtyard of the Old Brewery where they will perform an interactive anti-Cagean symphony titled Hell Invades God's Heaven.
Like every year, the former Old Brewery is hosting an exhibition of contemporary art from the Baltic countries. The title of this year's show - Interstice - was inspired by Nicolas Bourriaud's Relational Aesthetics. The artists invited to a rendezvous in the interstice include the likes of Helēna Heinrihsone, Aigars Bikše, Ivars Drulle, Māra Brašmane, Alnis Stakle (Latvia), Tõnis Saadoja and Flo Kasearu (Estonia), Jonas Gasiūnas (Lithuania). At 9 Lenču Street, in a little house adjacent to the Old Brewery, the duo of artists Sarmīte Māliņa and Kristaps Kalns are presenting an installation under the romantic title of What Do I Have to Hide, Sitting Alone in a Rose Garden. While deeply personal, their story could also be relevant to any one of us: experience shows that the most personal of all stories are always also universal and the subjects subjects that the two artists are concerned about could easily affect any individual living on this planet. While the Remain II/IV solo exhibition by the locally well-known photographer Jānis Deinats will be housed at the Cēsis Exhibition Hall, the Vault Hall of the Old Barn of Cēsis Castle will be home to the Work-It-Out show of fashion art.
At 21:00, the Opening Concert of the 2011 Cēsis Art Festival will start at the Cēsis Sports Complex; the programme promises to be a real treat for any cultural gourmet: under the baton of the conductor Normunds Šnē, the Sinfonietta Rīga Orchestra will perform Sieben Worte by Sofia Gubaidulina, Erik Satie's Gymnopédies, etc. Unofficially, however, the festival is opening a day early, on 22 July, launching the season of open-air screenings in the garden of the Cēsis New Castle; the programme of classical French cinema, compiled by the legendary film historian Valentīna Freimane, opens with René Clair's Sous les Toits de Paris (Under the Roofs of Paris).
In all, Cēsis offers two weeks' worth of exciting culture events, including, along the above-mentioned, performances of Black Milk, a JRT Theatre production (director Alvis Hermanis) and Aija: Based on Jaunsudrabiņš, staged at the Daile Theatre (director Regnārs Vaivars). And, of course, let's not forget the exciting adventure that is the 'electro-acoustic walk in the forest' under the title of The Tale of Kurbads - an experience that delighted everyone who took part last year. The festival will come to an end with the Finale Gala on 6 August, its first part featuring the Morning Hours Oratorio by Imants Kalniņš, the second - Philip Glass' Sumphony No. 4 Heroes.