The exhibition “The Weather Diaries” will be on view from February 7 until March 31, 2019, at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10). The exhibition will showcase fashion artworks designed by artists from Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands, who have been inspired by the unique Nordic landscapes and harsh weather conditions.
The exhibition “The Weather Diaries” has been created in cooperation with the artist-curator duo Sarah Cooper (1974, USA) and Nina Gorfer (1979, Austria), who over the course of two years visited Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to explore the influence of island environment, cultural identity and traditions on the creativity of local artists and designers. As opposed to the scientific approach of traditional anthropologists studying local communities, Cooper&Gorfer transform their observations into poetic stories captured through the lens of a camera. Their experiences are transformed into staged portraits filled with symbolism, layers of colour, and textures. The staging of each portrait was conducted in collaboration with local fashion designers, which can be seen in the exhibition’s textile installations.
In “The Weather Diaries”, nature and place, where the artists come from, are put in the foreground. “Some of the photographs in the show are completely free of figures, capturing the vastness of the North Atlantic landscapes and the violent unpredictability of the weather instead,” Nina says. “We felt the power of nature. It leaves an imprint on you even if you are there just as a tourist, so of course living and growing up in these places affects you. The creativity that comes out of these three places has a wildness and a fearlessness to it,” Sarah continues.
The artist duo Cooper&Gorfer began collaborating on artistic photography projects in 2006, and have since exhibited internationally and published several books of high artistic quality. They work according to their own method, in which journeys and meetings with people – and those people’s stories – are in focus. They live and work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Berlin, Germany.
The exhibition, presenting 10 Icelandic, Greenlandic and Faroese fashion designers, moves away from the conventional fashion world and its seasonal trends. Instead it focuses on the creativity and the factors influencing it - cultural identity, traditions, nature, landscapes, weather, as well as the Nordic innovative approach in creating sustainable fashion by using local resources. The exhibition will be supplemented with designers’ talks, where some of the artists will share their experiences on the role of the designer in creating sustainable fashion.
The exhibition was commissioned and produced by the Nordic House in Reykjavik (Iceland) and had its premiere in 2014 as the central piece of the 3rd Nordic Fashion Biennale that took place at Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. It has since been exhibited in Denmark, the Netherlands, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, USA, China, Sweden and Greenland. In 2019 the exhibition will be on show in Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn.
The exhibition presents 10 artists and fashion designers: Barbara I Gongini, Guðrun & Guðrun (the Faroe Islands); Bibi Chemnitz, Nikolaj Kristensen, Najannguaq Lennert (Greenland); STEiNUNN/Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, JÖR/Guðmundur Jörundsson, Kría, Mundi, Shoplifter a.k.a. Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (Iceland).
The exhibition in Latvia is organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia in cooperation with the Latvian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. Financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, “The Nordics”, the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Consulate of Iceland in Latvia, the Embassy of Norway in Latvia, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland, “Nordic Partners”, “Fish+Fish”, DSV Global Transport and Logistics.