On Friday, 29 September, at 18.00, you will have an extraordinary opportunity to get an artistic perspective on the important topic of dementia. The exhibition “Dairy Diaries – Dementia in Statistics and Stories” by new media artist, assistant professor at the University of Liepāja Anna Priedola will be opened at the Art Space “Civita Nova” of the “Great Amber” Concert Hall in Liepāja. Anna is using dairy products as audiovisual artworks and data visualisations to address ageing and loneliness, dementia and changes in family relationships caused by these natural processes in our lives.
The exhibition will be opened as part of the contemporary art festival “Liepāja Art Forum”. Reaching out to the voices of dementia patients and their companions leads to a more inclusive, socially just and sustainable world. Contact with people with a different perception, who do not focus on past experiences or concerns about the future, is sometimes also positive – making us concentrate on what is happening now, human presence and the beauty of our surroundings.
The author has chosen milk as a material for the visualisations of dementia statistics, as it evokes personal childhood memories – countryside summer holidays with her grandfather, always with fresh milk on hand. Unfortunately, her grandfather was later diagnosed with dementia and gradually drifted further and further away from his family, reality and life. The many “white spots” that emerged in her grandfather’s memories, and also dominated the artist’s and other relatives’ perception of dementia, associate with the white colour of milk, which is used extensively in the exhibition elements and set design.
Data visualisations using food as material are an indirect way of demonstrating the irreversible processes of cognitive degradation, identity and relational disintegration associated with dementia.
A personal touch is added by audio diaries of dementia patients’ family members – granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law, wife – narrated by Liepāja theatre actors. An enclosed space has been created in the Art Space of the Concert Hall, allowing everyone to listen to the stories of dementia experience alone or in a small group and to get to know the processes of milk degradation.
On 30 September, 21 October and 4 November from 15.00 to 18.00, the exhibition will be complemented by “Dementia Data Workshops” led by Anna Priedola and art mediators from the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, offering participants the opportunity to create data recipes for their own cognitive health from a variety of everyday well-known foods. You will be able to see and taste them, exploring in an attractive and relaxed way the challenges of ageing and humanity’s efforts to delay it.
The exhibition is open free of charge until 3 November at the Civita Nova Art Space during the concert hall’s opening hours: Monday-Friday: 11.00-17.00, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-15.00.
The Liepāja Art Forum Contemporary Art Festival is organised by the SIA “Lielais Dzintars” Ltd. For more information about the festival programme, please visit: www.lielaisdzintars.lv/en
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