A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 is a media art project by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, media artist aund curator from Cologne/Germany starting in 2012. It is the physical and virtual manifestation of his project “Draft Title: Shoah featuring Shoah Film Collection”, including the preparations for the physical event during Agricola de Cologne’s residency at NOASS (Riga) 1-31 May 2012, the realisation of the physical event – 1-30 June 2012 including creating the virtual presence, and the post-event era forming the project online to become the virtual memorial including Riga as a place for Jewish life and the manifestation of “A Virtual Memorial”.The project is dedicated to the victims of Riga Ghetto and Rumbula Forest Ghetto and Nazism.
In this way, “A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012” became a common project of all participating artists, the involved hosting instances, the supporters and the audience. Depending on their involvement, each of them has a more or less individual active function, resulting a common media art project, which would not have happened or exist without them. One might speak, they were the tools for creating the physical and virtual art work.
The Floating Art Galleries NOASS & BETANOVUSS
01-30 June 2012
The Academy of Sciences Riga
1st International Conference of Holocaust Museums
04-06 June 2012
featuring Shoah Film Collection –1‐8 June 2012 (prolonged until 30 June)
A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 ‐ a media art project context created by the Cologne based media artist and curator Wilfried Agricola de Cologne for presenting SFC – Shoah Film Collection in the context of complementary interventions – was realized in the framework of the European Cultural Program context “The A Team – Artists for Change” and the associated instances (Transeurope Halles, Engine Room Europe, European Culture program‐ Education & Culture DG, Ministery of Culture Latvia und project partners in Latvia, Sweden, Slovakia and Bulgaria) and in partnership between Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum, the Jewish association SHAMIR Riga, Culture and Arts Project NOASS Riga and artvideoKOELN – the international curatorial initiative “art & moving images” , Cologne, directed by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.
The presentation of SFC ‐ Shoah Film Collection in Riga is standing under the Patronage of the European Parliament, which is honouring SFC – Shoah Film Collection as a worldwide unique initiative by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne addressed to young artists generations to deal with the topic of Shoah and related fields, like the collective trauma caused by totalitarianism, by using new technologies and contemporary approaches in art in order keep vivid the memory and sensitize and activate the artists, film‐ and videomakers.
For presenting SFC – Shoah Film Collection to an audience, Agricola de Cologne created a special event project ‐ A Virtual Memorial – Commemorative Interventions ‐ which is placing SFC in the context of complementary interventions like lectures, a symposium, workshops, courses, exhibitions, artists talks, discussions and much more, in order to sensitize and activate the audience, as well.
Presenting SFC- Shoah Film Collection in Riga under the Patronage of the European Parliament had four components, i.e. during the main intervention days 1‐3 June 2012 ‐ the screening of the entire collection, the artists presentations including artists talks and discussions on, on 4‐6 June 2012 the presentation of SFC as an initiative on 1st International Conference of Holocaust Museums, organized by Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum, and the exhibition of SFC installed on flat-screen monitors on the floating art gallery NOASS 1‐30 June 2012 (after prolongation).
As a project, A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 had a kind of pioneer character in most different ways. It is the first of a series of events to take place during the coming months and years at many places around the globe.
As a traditional trading metropole at the Baltic Sea, Riga had in the Past a particular relevance for Jewish life in an exchange between Eastern, Northern und and other parts of Europe, during the Nazi era Riga Ghetto got a very doubtful fame, since most Jews in the ghetto were massacred in Latvia or later in Auschwitz and other death camps, so that at the end of the Holocaust Jewish life was nearly completely erased in Riga and Latvia (in general). After World War II especially after the collapse of the Communist system, Riga became a shelter for Jews from Russia, so that slowly Jewish life is developing again in Riga, and this way also the need for exploring former Jewish life in Latvia.
Getting Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum – and Rabbi Menachem Barkahan – as a most competent partner in this concern, and Culture and Arts Project NOASS – and Dzintarz Zilgalvis – in terms of contemporary art, was very fortunate for realizing this experimental event project, entitled: ” A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012″, because the event, as such, had an initializing effect for keeping vivid the memory of the collective trauma which the Holocaust will represent for all times.
The media art project “A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012” will continue to be an active project due to its status as a public memorial site in Internet, but it is also the conceptual intention to let further, but different physical and virtual manifestations happen.
Agricola de Cologne (Cologne/Germany)
is a multidisciplinary media artist and curator living and working in Cologne/Germany.
He had more than 100 solo exhibitions in cooperation with 80 museums in Europe, South America and USA, he is participating since 2000 in more than 500 media exhibitions and festivals around the globe. His media art works received numerous prizes and awards.
A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012
is a media art project created, developed and coordinated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
copyright © 2012 by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
SFC – Shoah Film Collection
is a media art project by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
copyright © 2009 by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
all videos included © by the artists or owners
Text, if not otherwise indicated
copyright 2012-2014 by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Images included in this website © by NOASS, Doron Polak, Eitan Vitkon, Shelley Jordon, Felice Hapetzeder, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne