If We Really Do Love Art

If We Really Do Love Art, We Live in It. The Image of Contemporary Art and Artist in Latvian Art Criticism of the 1990s,” in Ieva Astahovska, ed., Nineties. Contemporary Art in Latvia (Riga: The Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, 2010), 108-119. ISBN 9789934807831.

The aim of this article is to bear witness to the contemporary art processes that were taking place in Latvia during the 1990s. My approach is to seek testimonies in printed media instead of looking for them in subjective memories and people’s anecdotal stories about themselves.

The subject of this chapter is the image of an artist in mass media and art-related publications of the 1990s, including exhibition catalogs and informative publications. The article was envisaged as an uncritical excursion into a discourse, or a collection of quotes - a collage that lets us notice the phrases and ideas expressed by art critics, theorists, artists, and publicists. Inevitably, the article includes also a fleeting touch upon some of the processes that contributed to the triumphant arrival of new media and photography in the discourse of contemporary art in Latvia during this decade.