Born in Riga in 1955, artist Leonards Laganovskis studied at the Riga Art Academy in the mid to late 1970s and later worked as a stage designer at the State Opera. In the following years, he was commissioned by the government to create monumental murals, banners and grandstands for political celebrations, as well as designs for squares and public spaces in cities.
Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, he has worked with new forms of expressive and multimedia action art. In this exhibition, Laganovskis shows “conceptual series of paintings, objects, and design sketches that cryptically attack the superficial, glossed-over view of reality. As such, they are disruptive images in the system, uncomfortable but emancipatory appeals to a society of the conformist and the immature”, Barbara Straka explains in the exhibition catalogue.
In his series of monument pedestals, Laganovskis attacks the current mentality of iconoclasm, which occasionally takes on fanatical features, especially in the new autonomous societies in Eastern European countries. After the fall, empty pedestals remain as projection surfaces for collective memory. Only the inscriptions have remained. Thus the question remains whether the empty monument pedestals are an expression of mastered or unmastered history. His allusions to the interchangeability of representational needs are a through line of the exhibition.