From 1 April to 9 October 2022, the Level 1 exhibition hall of the National Library of Latvia (NLL) will host the B kā baroks (B for Baroque) exhibition, dedicated to seemingly forgotten but extremely important cultural heritage – the Baroque. Uncertainties in its periodisation, definition and regional variations in the history of the Baroque have stimulated a desire to understand the Baroque as a global cultural phenomenon of the 17th–18th centuries, disregarding borders as much as possible, catching sight of the forgotten, looking from unusual angles, searching for contexts, listening to alternative views, creating one's own version of what the Baroque is. Free admission.
Our knowledge of the Baroque will always remain fragmented. No one has yet returned from the Baroque era to testify about the details of what it really was. However, thanks to extensive literary memoirs, the circulation of letters and other testimonies, we have an opportunity to hear whispers from this era, to learn how Louis XIV formed his image of the ideal ruler, what political choreography was performed at national events and festivities, what psychosomatic effect castrato voices had on opera audiences. Certainly we can distinguish the alarm bells and pleas for security of the Baroque era – global military conflicts, religious intolerance, social tensions, a protracted pandemic, superstition and fear of the rational – that form a strange, irregularly constructed bridge between the 17th century and contemporary global society.
The exhibition is an attempt to construct a dialogue-based relationship between the NLL's graphic art collection and experiential spaces, in which a multimedial narrative of the Baroque is made up of concepts – the church, an absolutist ruler, court festivities and war. The graphic works form the basis of the exhibition, they are incorporated into a broad context, at the same time becoming the context of the era.
The exhibition's creative team consists of interdisciplinary researchers, custodians of the collection, and artists – Deniss Hanovs, Dmitrijs Zinovjevs, Zane Zelmene, Tatjana Raičiņeca, Kristīne Liniņa, Valdis Tēraudkalns, Lolita Fūrmane, Aija Taimiņa, Pauls Daija, Rolands Briedis, Renarts Braufmanis.
The exhibition has been implemented with the support of the State Culture Capital Fund, the Latvian Culture – a Resource for National Development State Research Programme’s Cultural Capital as a Resource for Sustainable Development project (No VPP-KM-LKRVA-2020/1-0003) and LG Latvia.
Public Relations Manager
National Library of Latvia