From 18 May to 22 June 2017, the exhibition Golden Years from the Zuzāns Collection is on display in the Main Gallery of the Mūkusala Art Salon.
Advancing years promise the opportunity to slow down and savour the fruits of a life’s worth of labour, yet often they are more associated with worsening health and financial situation as well as private and professional discrimination. Looking from a perspective where both scenarios are still possible the exhibition Golden Years constructs a story about old age and its coming.
In an effort to sharpen the autumn's blurry details, the exhibition develops and visualises a range of associations, based on the Zuzāns Collection. Among them are the parallels between the change of seasons and a person's life taught at literature lessons in school, seashells and corals from grandmother's cupboard and Edward Said's reflections on 'late style' and the ageing of creative individuals. Some old people return to rural homesteads, where some of them – who knows – on a distant summer spent days in the pasture, while others learn to deal with the determination of Mormons on the staircases of their apartment blocks. Meanwhile Vija Artmane, the International Women's Day and frugality in daily matters seem more and more related to the Soviet Period, as if growing old with the people who knew them. The contents of the exhibition are also shaped by the collection itself, which seems to contain more images of elderly men than women, despite statistics suggesting that women live longer (and even after retirement refer to each other as girls). Likewise, a row of works in various media represent the Latvian old master Purvītis, mostly – quite fittingly – as a man of advanced years.
The exhibition aims to relegate the information on the works' authors and dates of creation to the background, inviting the viewers to search for answers in the images and their positions, and, as long as we still occupy our own chairs, to build new connections and knowledge.
Valts Miķelsons, curator of the exhibition