Venus of Willendorf 21st Century is the bachelor’s work of Brigita Zelča-Aispure presented for graduating from the Department of Glass Art at the Art Academy of Latvia. As she worked on it, she and Professor Aigars Bikše, who supervised her thesis, offered the erstwhile Art Academy Rector Aleksandrs Naumovs to exhibit the work by the main entrance of the academy. Thus, from 2010 to 2018, this outdoor artwork stood by the main entrance of the Art Academy of Latvia, for which it became a sort of a “trademark”. In 2010 the work was nominated for the Diena Annual Award for Culture. In summer 2018 the work was taken away to be restored, because, as a student’s work, it had not been made to last, consisting of plastic foam and plastic. During the restoration, the Venus was to be remade into durable stainless steel, without losing its original aesthetic form. The Art Academy of Latvia had planned to find funding to restore the work and return it to its rightful place during the events of the Latvian Centenary, but this has not yet come to pass.
At Mobile Museum. The Next Season, a miniature version of the work (created in 2014), made from stainless steel and granite, is on show in lieu of the large-scale sculpture.
Venus of Willendorf 21st century is an in-depth search of female identity. The sculpture is 4.5 m high, made of glued foam, rubber sheets and covered in pieces of mirror plastic, creating a peculiar replica of the masterpiece of the Stone Age. Venus of Willendorf 21st century is a conceptual artwork allowing the women of today to shine in their reflection, with Venus herself shining at the same time. Her female shapes are surprising and even shocking for some. The work is about women as such, not feminism.
- Description from the artist’s website
Brigita Zelča-Aispure (1986) is a Latvian sculptor. The achievements and errors of nature and culture are intertwined in her work, as well as a vindication and highlighting of specific phenomena. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Glass Art at the Art Academy of Latvia (2010) and a master’s degree in Visual Communications (2012). She is known for her large-scale public sculptures, like the Venus of Willendorf 21st Century (2010) at the main entrance of the Art Academy of Latvia, Still Nature (2014, together with Sandis Aispurs) at the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia and The Edge (2015) at Rīga’s Viesturdārzs.
Thursdays and Fridays: 14:00-20:00;
Former textile factory “Boļševicka”,
Ganību dambis 30