On 1 June, on the first day of summer, “Noass” floating art gallery will host the opening of an unusual exhibition: “A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012.

“Noass” will be the venue for an exhibition of films and accompanying art works created by German artist and Director of the “artvideoKOELN” festival, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.

“Shoah film colection” is a unique global-scale initiative that was created in 2010 as a dedication to the 65th anniversary remembrance of the liberation of the prisoners from the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. The heart of the collection is comprised of video art works dedicated to the subject of Shoah”, otherwise known as the Holocaust.

The collection’s creator has invited young art professionals from various countries around the world to depict their understanding of the theme of the Holocaust using modern means of artistic expression.

It is no coincidence that this project is being realised in Riga at the start of the summer. The holocaust in Latvia began on 4 July 1941 when Riga’s Great Choral Synagogue was burned down. This was followed by the establishment of the Riga ghetto in which not only Jewish residents from Latvia were interned, but also Jews condemned to death from other European countries.

Video films, black and white graphic works, photographic documentation of shocking associative performances, accompanied by lectures and conversations with the artists themselves, offer a vivid reminder to viewers of such subjects as tolerance and democracy, kindling society’s collective memory of the most terrible event of the 20th century – the Holocaust.

The aim of this exhibition is to reinforce the visceral understanding and conviction of viewers that these events must never occur again.

“Shoah” translated from Hebrew means catastrophe, or from Greek – Holocaust. The murder of six million people during the Second World War solely on the grounds of national belonging is a catastrophe in the history of global civilization. Every year in Europe and elsewhere in the world, exhibitions, films and museum exhibits are devoted to this horrific subject.

The organisers of the exhibition are convinced that the subject of collective memory and remembrance which will be reflected in 40 works by artists from 15 countries including Israel, Austria, Sweden, the United States and Italy will not leave Latvian viewers apathetic.

The exhibition will be on show from 1-8 June at the “Noass” floating art gallery alongside AB dambis, opposite the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel.

Program of event:

The exhibition is being organised by Culture and Arts Project Noass (Riga).

Artist and curator Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, representing artvideoKOELN – international curatorial initiative “art & moving image” from Cologne, Germany.

Guest artists Doron Polak (Israel), Eitan Vitkon (Israel), Felice Hapetzeder (Sweden), Doris Neidl (Austria), Jay Needham (USA), Shelley Jordon (USA), Ben Neufeld (USA), Cristiano Berti (Italy).

Project supporters in Riga Latvian Ministry of Culture, U.S, Israeli, Swedish and Austrian embassies in Latvia, and SHAMIR Society, Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust museum and FG Royal Hotel.

The exhibition takes place within the parameters of the EC Culture Program’s supported multi-year collaborative project – “Engine Room Europe” implementing the activity “A-Team – artists for change“. “A-Team” is a creative process-promoting activity that takes place in Sweden, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Latvian. Its mission is in one team combining foreign artists and cultural mediators of independent cultural centers, as well as one community representative and with the help of artistic resources to deal with the public key, and a painful topical issues.

Engine Room Europe (ERE) is a three-year project (May 2011 – April 2014) with activities dedicated to independent cultural workers and their creative processes. The project is initiated by Trans Europe Halles (TEH) and co-ordinated by Melkweg (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) in association with 10 co-organizing TEH members: Factory of Art (Łódź, Poland), Mains D’Oeuvres (St Ouen, France), Stanica (Žilina, Slovakia), ufaFabrik (Berlin, Germany), TNT (Bordeaux, France), REX (Belgrade, Serbia), NOASS (Riga, Latvia), Röda Sten Art Centre (Göteborg, Sweden), La Friche Belle de Mai (Marseille, France) and Tabačka Kulturfabrik (Košice, Slovakia).