“For Household Use” is a first solo show in Riga by Kristaps Ancāns (b.Livani, Latvia, 1990, based in London, UK). Ancans nourishes his artistic practice with concept of artificial nostalgia (having an image in ones head of how things were before, even if one was not physically present at the time, or even born yet). Dissecting his own memories of growing up in rural Latvia in 90’s and learning to create art with found materials, he often channels the familiar and relatable, while avoiding the banal.
Exhibition consists of three types of artworks (2d, sculptures and kinetic sculpture), all of which play conceptual games with each other, so for example the sculptural work “We have two bunnies at home- a spotty one, a light-furry and a darker-furry one” is shown next to two dimensional, textual artwork “1839.6 cm2”, on which that sentence is written. Conceptually, Ancans artworks often have open-ended messages, yet what is persistent is his honesty towards subject matter and materials used. The frequent use of stabilised plasticine on theorethical level brings in clear connection with childhood naivete, creating connection with the viewer in the “small disasters” that happen whilst playing and making, yet the adult knowledge of chemistry allows this game to be transformed into a permanent artwork.
Similarly, the kinetic artwork “Device which can transport your big, as well as your small dog to the other side” seems to have a playful element to the repetitive movement of the platform which could, indeed, transport one’s big as well as small dog. At the same time it touches upon the notion of “other side” without fear of otherness. The animal references, that Ancans uses in his practice are there to establish a connection with the viewer, to wink at the viewer while playing with the stereotypes that we have about these animals and about each other.