NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

“Forget Me Not” is a contemplative multimedia installation that tells a deeply personal story about the connection between two people. At the same time, however, it is also a generalisation of the painful memories of Siberia shared by both Latvians and Estonians. The work was first presented at the RIBOCA biennial in Riga in 2018 and was shown for the second time in the Purvītis prize exhibition in the Latvian National Museum of Art in 2019. From Tartu, the work will travel to Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and Flughafen Tempelhof in Berlin as part of the group exhibition “Diversity United”.

In 1971, the promising 33-year-old poet Miervaldis Kalniņš suddenly left the Riga Young Writers’ Association, took his guitar and went to Siberia, to the same places that had not so long ago meant death to many deported Latvians. Only a few friends knew of his plans: Miervaldis had copied Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”, attracting the KGB’s attention. Miervaldis led a team of construction workers for more than twenty years in the Sayan Mountains near Mongolia.

Kristaps Epners adds: “Miervaldis was a friend of my father, documentary film director Ansis Epners. As I was sorting my late father’s archives, I stumbled on the letters that Miervaldis had sent to his friend over many years. One of them contained the addition of two fragile flowers from Siberia: a yellow wild lily for my father and a blue forget-me-not for me. I received this flower thirty-eight years later.”

Kristaps Epners (b 1976) lives and works in Berlin and in Riga. He has a master’s degree from the Art Academy of Latvia. Besides Latvia and Estonia, his works have been shown in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Russia. On two occasions (2017, 2019), Epner’s has been nominated for the most prestigious art award in Latvia, the Purvītis prize. This is his first solo exhibition in Estonia.

Gallery name: Tartu Art House

Address: Vanemuise 26, Tartu

Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 12:00 - 18:00

Open: 27.08.2020 - 20.09.2020