NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

The Platonic Academy in ancient Greece and its unique approach to teaching philosophy serves as a starting point for this show. The Academy, founded near Athens and known for its liberal atmosphere in the enclave of olive tree gardens, facilitated the formation of philosophical theses and deductions following conversations and exchanges of opinions.

A living archive will run on set days throughout the exhibition, inviting former and current students, academic and professional staff to share their personal photo archives documenting the life of AAL. Under the leadership of young researchers, these materials will be documented and presented as part of the exhibition with new acquisitions added every week.

In contemporary language, the term ‘academic’ often acquires heavy overtones, therefore the format of this project seeks to provide viewers with an opportunity to embrace the original meaning of this term as a free and creative process of thought. Inspired by the Platonic Academy, this show brings the atmosphere and essence of the Art Academy of Latvia to ARSENĀLS, presenting a continuously changing display where the works on view will be enhanced and developed on site for the duration of the exhibition. More than 50 students and recent graduates contribute to this project, creating work that reflects the interests of emerging artists in the field of creative research. The novelty of this exhibition is expressed through its open format of action providing audiences of all ages a possibility to participate in the creation of artworks and witness the beauty of a virtual reality garden.

Special architecture has been designed for the ARSENĀLS to emphasise interrelationship between a creative space and the creation of art objects. The ajourstructure and garden atmosphere on the second floor will serve as a location for talks with the AAL’s graduates that will take place every Saturday as part of the discursive programme. It will introduce personal stories about the study years and subsequent professional practice, sometimes quite removed from art. Creative workshops will take place every Sunday led by the AAL’s academic staff. This space will also be used for teaching current AAL’s students and exhibition visitors will be welcome to join in.

The project is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation programme  Latvijai – 100.

Text by Antra Priede



Ojārs Pētersons, artist,

Professor, Head of Movement. Image. Sound Department / Art Academy of Latvia


Raivis Austriņš


Antra Priede, Dean of Master’s Programme / Art Academy of Latvia


Katrīna Vastlāve, Curator of Education / Latvian National Museum of Art

Gallery name: ARSENĀLS LNMA Exhibition Hall

Address: Torņa iela 1, Riga

Opening hours: Tue, Fri 11:00 - 18:00, Thu 11:00 - 20:00, Sat-Sun 10:00 - 17:00

Open: 20.09.2019 - 17.11.2019