VISUAL INSIGHTS INTO GRAFFITI AND STREET ART IN RIGA. PHOTOGRAPHS
AbstractGraffiti and street art are continuously topical for the cultural space of Latvia. Graffiti and street art are created, exist and vanish in a short period of time, questioning borders of art, its social function, as well as legality. Till now, an unexplored field of study in Latvia has been the necessity and possibilities for the conservation and restoration of graffiti and street art. Photographs taken by Aija Melbārde and Auguste Petre serve as an example of documenting and exposing signs of our time. They also raise questions for reflection – What is the significance of graffiti and street art within the scene of contemporary art? What are the functions of graffiti and street art in society, as social art? What are the aspects of legality of graffiti and street art? What are the issues for conservation and restoration of graffiti and street art? These photographs invite and challenge the audience interested in cultural and artistic expressions and general public to question the valuation and preservation of contemporary cultural heritage. Through exposing graffiti and street art as a significant segment of urban environment, this selection of photographs invites to consider the use of graffiti and street art for diverse purposes – for publicity and attracting tourism, or as a means of communication in urban culture, among other. The present selection of photographs is based on the exhibition that took place at the “Culture Crossroads 2017” scholarly conference in Riga and complemented the transdisciplinary section “Graffiti: challenges for artists, society, and conservators”. For locating visual testimonies of graffiti and street art in Riga, the Street Art Map of Riga is presented as addendum to the present volume.
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