Field studies in ancestral memory

Field studies in ancestral memory




12:00 – 18:00


clear sky

Madara Kvēpa
Opening / Avajaiset 6.7.2023 18:00 – 20:00 

Myymälä2 is pleased to present “Field Studies in Ancestral Memory”, with new works by Latvian artist Madara Kvēpa. The exhibition marks her first solo show in Finland and her first solo exhibition outside Latvia. The exhibition materialises the artist’s long-standing fascination with portraying and signifying the nature and landscapes of her motherland Latvia.

Kvēpa’s visual and theoretical research focuses on the Latvian ancient pagan holy sites and their elements such as rivers, the forest, sacred trees and stones. Her formal and conceptual approach aims to reveal the different layers and contexts that create the value of these places today: not only concerning religious practices but also the ecological and national sovereignty significance that these places carry. For example, the artist remarks that in the 90’s these holy sites were considered a part of the Latvian national identity, therefore grassroots activist groups were created the protect and preserve them. The groups started from a historical and ecological interest but later they became transformed themselves into anti-Soviet independence movements.

The central section of the exhibition features a series of photographs projected to the wall directly from the artist’s self-designed projection boxes which pays homage to the early dispositive fabricated by pioneers of camera obscura. In Kvēpa performative acts seen in these photographs, she disguises herself as sort of a worshipping proxy deity, a shamanistic presence which tries almost elegiacally to merge and subtlety communicate with the surrounding landscape and doing so enabling her phantom presence into wilder transformations.

At varying degrees, the exhibition touches on fundamental issues related to raising awareness about the underlying issues of climate change, such as ecology, cosmologies, magic, land politics, environmental justice and ancestral tradition and philosophies. Consequently, the show might be seen as Kvēpa compelling plead to rethink a more sustainable, harmonious and healing relationship with our planet.

Madara Kvēpa (b.1996) graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia, Department of Painting, in 2021 with a Master’s degree. Currently, she is continuing her studies in the professional doctoral programme at the Art Academy of Latvia. She has held seven solo exhibitions to date, including the 2022 exhibition “Veins” at “LOOK!” gallery in Riga, Latvia (2020).
Recent group exhibitions include: “Utopias” at the Riga Photography Biennial (2022); “A Fluid State of Mind: Baltic Painting in the Expanded Field”.  Pamėnkalnio Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania (2022); “Don’t Dream It’s Over” Pallas Gallery, Tartu, Estonia (2023). She was awarded the SEB Scholarship for Painting, and in 2021 she was awarded the Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award in the painting category.

Friday 7th July 2023, 18:00 
In Conversation: Madara Kvēpa & Aurora del Rio, led by curator Ramiro Camelo

Exhibition curated by Ramiro Camelo

The exhibition is part of Myymälä 2 ongoing programme ‘Baltic Fellowship Network” which aim is to potentiate collaboration and facilitate artistic exchanges among art institutions, exhibition spaces, individuals and counterparts based in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Fri 07 Jul 2023 – 30 Jul 2023 12:00 – 18:00


clear sky

Uudenmaankatu 23 F
00120 Helsinki