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Pleasant Culture


2015

Sugar is sweet. Art is pleasant. What happens if you combine the two? Does art become even more enjoyable? In all its aggregate states, sugar is a daily part of both artists’ lives. Spending their days with a child in the kitchen (similar to the way in which sculptors or painters spend their hours in the studio, working with other materials), sugar is consumed a lot. This is where the artists decided to use sugar as a means of expression – unique to the place and time – testing the dual nature of the art world and the boundary between good and purchasable/consumable art. Combined with other materials, sugar is used as the main ingredient of art, creating content unsuited to the material and form. In combination, a new context is created. As a material, sugar makes works of art ambiguous – it gives them additional meaning, which is positive when related to the viewer’s experience and perception of life, but in contrast – it is also associated with its renunciation (i.e. totally avoiding the use of sugar), thus indirectly giving this work a negative connotation. What mattered to the artists was the individual interpretation and imagination that the work inspired in its viewers. The artists also hope that art will seem sweet and pleasant to viewers.

And at least one person concurred. “Mummy, your art is finally going to be useful,” said artist Aija Baumane’s 10 year old son, while poaching left over melted sugar during the creation of the work.

For the preparation of this exhibition we used 10 kg of white and 4 kg of brown sugar, as well as 10 kg of sugar cubes, which were specially imported for this purpose from Belarus. There, at a sugar factor located in the city of Haradzeya 100 km south of Minsk, sugar is made on a single production line. The quantity required was delivered as a matter of urgency to the Minsk store “Pčolka” (Bee) and, after crossing the borders of two countries, was delivered to Riga by diplomatic transport. 

 

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