Midway Contemporary Art
During the workshop participants will follow a recipe for making sunglasses, written in 1987 by musician Imants Žodžiks within the framework of activities of Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Feelings (NSRD). NSRD included a number of collaborators — artists, musicians, architects and others — active in Soviet Latvia from 1982 to 1990. Collectively, they made music, worked on performances and actions, and organized long-lasting walks along the peripheries of Riga, all of which are documented in videos that they produced. They also made sunglasses.
The recipe for sunglasses says: “When considering a new design for the sunglasses form or color combination, first think about a literary theme, visual concept, title, or legend. This will help produce a vision for a finished work that makes you feel there is more than sun protectors stamped “Made in Italy” on your nose. Neither symmetry nor asymmetry is necessary. Ornamentation, used by architects, interior and furniture designers, and textile producers, can also by used for the design of sunglasses. Fractures, used to alter perception, can be achieved by incorporating materials found in the kitchen.”
Within the works of NSRD, especially Binocular Dances, sunglasses played a central role — they were, as Žodžiks writes, “especially necessary for the beginners of Binocular Dance Lessons to avoid losing their balance in the first three minutes of the dance.” Glasses were altered so that only little openings were left for light to reach the eye, in order to physically intervene in the perception of the wearer’s surroundings.
Please bring one or more pair of sunglasses to the workshop.
NSRD’s videos of the Binocular Dance Lessons will be screened during the workshop.
Presented in collaboration with the archive of NSRD at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Image credit: Hardijs Lediņš during the performance Dr Eneser’s Binocular Dance Lessons at the botanical garden in Salaspils, 1987. Photo: Māris Bogustovs