Black Market at Kim?

Artists: Indriķis Ģelzis, Kaspars Groševs, Ieva Kraule-Kūna and Elīna Vītola, Inga Meldere, Daria Melnikova, Elza Sīle, Viktor Timofeev, Amanda Ziemele

Exhibition title: Black Market

Venue: Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia

Date: December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga

Black Market is a collaborative (together with Riga based Gallery 427 and gallery LOW) sales event – presentation installed and hosted by Kim? in Riga. Borrowing its name from the 1990s post-Soviet reality with clandestine markets all around the Baltics, this improvised art fair booth embraces the underdog status of the Riga art market scene with an attempt to overcome the curse of never being legal or financially viable. Black Market opened on December 1 and runs for two months (until January 31, 2021). It includes the recent works and series from Riga affiliated or Riga bound artists selected by the three galleries and curatorially arranged by the host. Black Market follows social distancing protocol and local guidelines to protect staff and visitors. All sales are split equally and shared among the gallery and participating artists.

Black Market was created in conjunction to Kim?s participation at NADA Miami 2020 that took place December 1–5, 2020 in a reimagined format. Besides online participation the 18th edition of NADA Miami showcased an international series of presentations from a diverse roster of 46 NADA Members and 27 first-time exhibitors for a total of 96 galleries from 44 cities, both in gallery spaces and online. The fair featured gallery hubs in multiple cities, including Kim?, 427 and Low in Riga.

Kim? is devoted to ideas, gestures, textures and interventions that shifts from “a well trained chameleon face”  to a cadavre exquis, from “a polygon, a laboratory, a lighthouse” to a hybrid organism. Founded in 2009, Kim? has actively contributed to the art discourse both in Latvia and on a global scale with extensive exhibition programming, as well as international collaborations, discussions, publications, talks and performances.

Kim? with its name being a question itself (“kas ir māksla?” – what is art?) inhabits an ongoing series of questions – what it means to be a cultural agent today and to contribute to the vast landscape of contemporary art, how to show and talk about art, thinking about how art functions in differing contexts of local and global economies, traditions, cultures and subcultures, between the disappearance and reappearance of identities. As of 2020 Kim? adds the gallery operations to its resume to strengthen the visibility and support the roster of long time artists-collaborators as well as new names from Riga.