Installation, Hanzas Perons (Hanzas street 16a), exhibited October 6-8

“It took a long time for it to open its leaves”
Audio-visual installation by Ieva Balode and Biliana Voutchkova

Ieva and Biliana’s collaboration engages in a multifaceted dialogue between their artistic tools and the environment they reflect upon. They are responding to the stimulus found in the processes of transformation in nature, applied to human psychological states which usually inform their real-time audio-visual composition. This installation is prepared especially for Skanu Mežs 2023 as a new version of the work originally created for SHAPE platform as a performance piece. A tree documented throughout winter, spring and summertime reflects on the time passing and the inevitable transformation involved in it. 35mm slides together with a textural sonic mix (field recordings by the machines used by Ieva whilst producing the work, environmental sounds of the area, violin and voice) create a complex artistic ecology, subtly changing the perception of the natural world and opening a space where the imaginary diffuses the real.

Biliana Voutchkova is a dynamic, thoroughly engaged interdisciplinary artist, violinist, composer-performer, improvisor and curator with highly individual, unconventional artistic language. Through the prism of listening, her early training in classical music and the years of development as contemporary artist-performer, she explores states of spontaneity and intuitive resonance embodied in her multifaceted activities. Her work spans the widest possible range of sound, vision, movement and includes concert performances of improvisation, contemporary composition and original site specific work, exhibitions, long durational / multidisciplinary performances, audiovisual works and installation formats with focus on the interconnection between inner world and sound space.

Biliana works internationally as a soloist and in collaboration with many renowned artists and ensembles (the Splitter and Trickster Orchestras and Ensemble Modern among others). She is the founder and curator of the DARA String Festival, faculty at the Academy of Arts Bern/HKB Bern, SHAPE+ Platform artist for 2022/2023, co-founder and member of Voutchkova/ Thieke duo, Jane in Ether and the Land Stages Collective, and a recent recipient of the Berlin Residency Stipend at Cité des Arts / Paris, Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, the Composition Stipend from the Berliner Senate, grands from INM/Berlin, Musikfonds, the National Culture Fund/Bulgaria and the Trust for Mutual Understanding/New York.

Ieva Balode is an artist and film activist working with

photochemical film and image. She takes part in international exhibitions and festivals presenting her work both as an installation, as well as cinema screenings

and expanded cinema performances. Her artistic interest lies within the exploration of the fragility and vagueness in nature of the analog film which can be applied to human psychology and its various fragile states. As a film activist, she is a founding member of Baltic Analog Lab – artists collective providing a space and platform for photo-chemical film production, research and education. She is also a director of experimental film festival “Process” happening in Riga from 2017.

Work created as part of the SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, co-funded by the European Union.

Also supported by: Ministry of Culture, Riga municipality.