In these unusual times, words of the famous American professor and mathematician John Allen Paulos come to mind: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is”. These foretelling words sound especially true during the pandemic, and uncertainty becomes the base layer of the adjusted program for the contemporary art festival Liepāja Art Forum. They remind us and make us once again contemplate how uncertain, unpredictable and fickle the life is that has been granted to humans. How unpredictably events turn and how relative their lastingness is. However, in accepting these conditions of certain uncertainty, perhaps we can view it as a field of great opportunities – to assess, transform or redefine things and phenomena that have to do with all of us, to think about what meaningful life is and how to achieve it.

Artists and their works are antennae of the spirit and soul of society, catching, transmitting and translating current events into new artistic forms. In this festival, artists of the Liepāja Art Forum invite us to think in a way that is ecological and socially responsible, they touch upon subjects that are important and current to each one of us – the impossibility of solitude, collective collaboration, the various forms of co-existence, utopia and dystopia, solidarity, and empathy. Their works are powerful in their contents and forms, they are extravagant and kaleidoscopic.

Changes of such proportions force their adjustments onto us and make us revisit our values and ideals, including human nature, which, after all, possesses vital power to thrive with new solutions, achievements and perspectives. We are extremely glad that even under the circumstances we have been able to fulfill the scope of the planned program and, along with screenings of Palestinian independent films and an extravagant interpretation of Stockhausen’s music by American
trombonist Thomas R. Moore, this year’s festival will also feature the world premiere of the dance performance Piano Works Debussy, created in collaboration with Festival d’Avignon, Klarafestival, ADC Genève, the Royal Flemish Theatre, Theater Freiburg, and other significant European culture organizations.

The Liepāja Art Forum invites you to eleven different events – dance performances, an art exhibition, a poetry disco, a creative workshop for young people, a discussion, a concert of avant- garde chamber music, film nights, a theater performance for children and parents, and an unusual multimedia concert. We will meet artists from Latvia, the US, Belgium, France, and Palestine.

With the financial support of the State Culture Capital Foundation and Liepāja City Council, the Liepāja Art Forum is organized by Liepāja concert hall Great Amber in collaboration with the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Goethe-Institut Riga, Belgian contemporary dance and performance group Voetvolk, online magazine Satori, Haifa Independent Film Festival, association Cita Abra and publishing house Liels un mazs.

Baiba Bartkeviča,
Artistic Director of the Liepāja Art Forum