Anita Zabilevska

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Anita Zabilevska
Anita Zabilevska

Article

Normal is new

Anita Zabilevska is a video and installation artist, born in 1963 in Riga, Latvia and living in Oxford, England since 2000. She graduated in painting at the Latvian Academy of Art, followed by postgraduate studies in philosophy of modern art and architecture at the Central European University in Prague. Zabilevska is interested in aspects of visual perception, using the history of European painting, photography and film. She was selected for the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999.
Latvian video and installation artist, Anita Zabilevska was born in 1963 in Riga. She now lives and works in Oxford, England. Her art education was at the Latvian Academy of Art´s department of painting. She then studied the philosophy of modern art and architecture at the Central European University in Prague.

Zabilevska´s interest is in various aspects of visual perception, using the history of European painting, photography and film. The analysis of different attitudes towards space and time in various historical periods plays an important role. As she states, ´the question of how we perceive and what we perceive within the context of time, place and cultural background is the main preoccupation of my projects.´

Critic Juris Boiko has pointed out the attraction of landscape as a subject for her, ´the horizon can be sensed in almost all of Anita´s work, if not in the frame, then behind it certainly.´ He describes the abstraction of landscape in the work "Painter´s Sand-Glass" (1993), the experience of travelling through landscape in opposite directions simultaneously in "East West South North" (1995) and stepping into a landscape with perception distorted in "Projection on an Inclined Plane" (1998).

In an interview for the Baltic Art Center show in Visby, Sweden in 1999, Director Johan Pousette emphasised Zabilevska´s process of interaction with the viewer. ´Anita Zabilevska invites the visitor to enter a dialogue with the place, with him- or herself, and with the artist. The title of the work "Plus/Minus" alludes to a step forwards or backwards´ one small step and one has gained or lost. It is about territory and communication. With her origin in the flat surfaces of painting, she now chooses to work in three-dimensional space, with time and movement as further dimensions. The work is extremely interactive´. When asked by a journalist why the Baltic had chosen to show this work Pousette described Zabilevska as ´one of the foremost in the younger generation of artists, who is representing her country at the biennale in Venice this year. This new generation which is the first in the former Eastern Bloc without a past in the regime or the underground. Those who have grown up with open borders and a chance to travel, and who have an international horizon. An almost "normal" situation but this normality is still so fresh.´

Zabilevska exhibits in a range of museums, galleries and other settings. She says, ´another feature of my work is to make it site-specific, even in the conventional settings of museums or galleries. The work I create is an investigation of our perception and interaction with the world around. It is natural that the viewer is part of this act of investigation because the artwork is only a reflection or provocation to see, to notice the simplest structures which in an everyday situation can be obscured.´

Since 1993, Anita Zabilevska has exhibited video and installation work in the Baltic States, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Denmark, Greece, Sweden and Portugal. She was selected for the 48th Venice Biennale and showed her video installation "Expansion No. 4" at the Chiesa di San Giovanni Novo, San Zaccaria in Venice.

SOURCES: artist´s statement, review by Juris Boiko (Studija website) and interview for Baltic Art Center
Author: Judith Staines

Bio

Anita Zabilevska was born in 1963 in Riga, Latvia. Since 2000 she has lived and worked in Oxford, England. She studied painting at the Latvian Academy of Art and graduated in 1990. She then attended postgraduate courses in Culture and History of Philosophy at the Riga Academy of Sciences and in 1993 was awarded a bursary to attend the postgraduate programme "The Modern Age in Transition", at the Central European University in Prague. Zabilevska has consistently exhibited video and installation work since 1993, in the Baltic States and more widely in international contemporary art venues in Europe. In 1999 she was selected for the 48th Venice Biennale where she showed her video installation "Expansion No. 4".

Works

SIGNIFICANT ART WORKS

Object,
2003
2003 ´The Favourite Paintings´, installation 2001 ´The Film´, video installation 1999/2000 ´Projection on an Inclined Plane´, video installation 1999 ´Plus Minus´, installation 1998 ´Expansion No 4´, video installation 1998 ´Symmetria´, video installation 1996 ´Cross Section´, video installation 1996 ´East West South North´, video installation 1995 ´Intense Blue´, intallation 1994 ´Map´, installation 1994 ´Landscape´, installation 1994 ´Five Identical Landscapes´, video installation 1993 ´Painter´s Sand-Glass´, video installation

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selected)

Exhibition / Installation,
2003
2003 ´The Path to Europe´, Thessaloniki, Greece (due to tour to Luxembourg and Brussels) 2001 ´Contemporary Utopia´, Exhibition Hall Arsenals, Riga, Latvia 2000 ´Distance´, Hansabank Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia 2000 ´After the Wall´, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Hamburger Bahnhof, Germany; Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (1999). 1999 Venice Biennale, Chiesa di San Giovanni Novo, Venice - video installation 1999 ´Farois distantes/distant lighthouses´, Sollentuna, Sweden; Fabrica Porto Brandao, Lisbon, Portugal (1998) 1998 ´Cool Places´, 7th Triennial of Contemporary Baltic Art, Vilnius, Lithuania

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Exhibition / Installation,
2003
1999 ´Plus Minus´, Baltic Art Center, Visby, Gotland, Sweden 1995 ´East West South North´, Club Slepenais eksperiments, Riga, Latvia

Merits

AWARDS
1994 Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts (SCCA) Award for video installation ´Five Identical Landscapes´, Riga, Latvia
1993 Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts Award for video installation, ´Painter´s Sand-Glass´, Riga, Latvia

FELLOWSHIPS
1993 Soros Fund Latvia Fellowship, to attend postgraduate programme at Central European University, Prague

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Central Station

(01 September 00 - 01 October 00)

Www

Baltic Art Centre

Interview with artist and exhibition review.

Studija magazine

Interview and portrait of the artist by Juris Boiko. In English.

Distant Lighthouses

Exhibition notice & biography in Swedish
images
Anita Zabilevska
Five Identical Landscapes
Anita Zabilevska
Cross Section
Anita Zabilevska
The Favourite Paintings
Anita Zabilevska
Landscape
Anita Zabilevska
Projection on an Inclined Plane