Dace Džeriņa’s installation The Touring Dance Teacher was created for the Re:publika project (2003) carried out by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and taking place at a public setting in Rīga. The project addressed the inhabitants of the outskirts and suburbs of Rīga (curator Solvita Krese). It aimed to comment upon the Latvian socioeconomic situation and culture politics of the era, highlighting the relationship between the center and periphery and the lack of exhibition spaces and mutual discussion. The chief emphasis of the project was placed on communicating with that part of the public which is often forgotten and is thought not to consume art. The project identified and researched the function of art in creating a new space for communication with the local public. As part of the Re:publika project, Dace Džeriņa offered locals to learn to dance, creating a dance floor platform, which was placed inside parks across Rīga’s neighborhoods (at Grīziņkalns, Arkādijas Park, and Torņakalns).
A replica of the work in on show at the Mobile Museum. The Next Season.
The dance floor featured the basic steps of four ballroom dances – the waltz, tango, foxtrot and cha-cha-cha. People learned to dance both in the company of dance teachers and following the step drawings on the dance floor. The performances were held as festive events featuring live music and performances with professional dancers. A new version of the work (only featuring steps for the tango) was created for the Intersection: Intimacy and Spectacle project that took place during the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in 2011. It went on to be exhibited in Prague, Italy, Riga and Slovakia. In each of these places, the work was made anew. Likewise, a replica will be made for Mobile Museum. Next Season.
Dace Džeriņa (1971) is an artist and stage designer combining several media in her work, namely installation, stage design, video installation and computer graphics. Her works can be characterized as feminine (but not feminist) observations of the nature of things and processes, which integrate both a fragile emotionality and a distant reflection. There’s a strand in her work that invites enjoying and consuming art: the processuality, engagement with the audience, conviviality and joie de vivre present in them bring elements of play and interactivity to the fore, allowing not only to observe but use art as well. Another characteristic motif of hers is concentrating upon an introverted perception of things through completely particular physical conditions in the bodily reactions of the artist herself. She graduated the Department of Creative Leatherworking at the Liepāja Art and Design Secondary School in 1990 and obtained a master’s degree at the Department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia in 2000. She has participated in exhibitions since 1998.
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