Dairy Diaries

Dairy Diaries

Dementia in statistics and stories 08.04.2022 - 05.06.2022

Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum is hosting the exhibition “Dairy Diaries” by the new media artist Anna Priedola. The exhibition focuses on dementia and the experience of people with dementia and their relatives. The exhibition has been created within the framework of the international project “Agents of Change: Art Mediation as Conversation” in cooperation with the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, DOTS Foundation for an Open Society and Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum.

In the exhibition, the artist introduces and depicts the daily life and perceptual processes, socio-political realities, and human relations of seniors with dementia in audio format through data visualizations and experiences of dementia. The artist uses milk and its products as the principal means of expression.

Anna Priedola’s exhibition is complemented by a pop-up exhibition of the items in the collection of the Museum of the History of Medicine. The artist created the pop-up exhibition in collaboration with museum specialists. It discusses the research of the aging process and dementia as a diagnosis through time and in various institutions. Anatomical preparations, black-and-white photographs, historical data visualizations, and everyday objects introduce the visitor to the exhibition and draw attention to the presence and appearance of aging in everyday life.

The exhibition will feature specially trained art ambassadors or mediators – experts in various fields, both art professionals and non-professionals. They have acquired skills and knowledge about art mediation and its social power, and with them it will be possible to discuss and go on a joint tour of the exhibition.

Dementia is a disease that is very prevalent in today’s aging society, but people talk little about it. It irreversibly affects the memory and perceptual processes of the sufferer, gradually moving a person away from a successful and independent functioning in society. The patient’s personality changes, recent events disappear, but childhood memories return. The disease also has a significant impact on relatives of people with dementia, who often become the caretakers of the sufferers.

“Aging processes are inevitable, but not always easily and immediately noticeable. When we seek comfort from our parents and grandparents, at some point we have to realize that what we know and look for is no longer available: parents have changed, and we also have to change. “Dairy diaries” document these processes of change, which seem to take place on their own, but not always easy,”

says the author of the exhibition.

Anna Priedola has previously focused on the research of food as an artistic material and the multisensory experience it provides in the perception of a work of art. Working on a topic that is personally important to the artist, she observed the visually fascinating processes of milk coagulation and transformation. In its constant development, milk created even more vivid associations with the experience of dementia.  Its slow but constant progression results in the formation of unusual, the not always ugly character of relationships and communication. In the process of creating the exhibition, the artist has collaborated with dementia patients and their relatives, documenting their experiences.

“Data Recipe” workshops

the exhibition will be supplemented with the “Data Recipe” workshops led by Anna Priedola. Participants will create their data recipes, reproducing data on dementia with food and thus making statistics easier to “digest” and experience with different senses. Workshop times: on April 8 at 17.00 and April 16 (CANCELED), May 21, May 28 and June 2 at 12.00. Participation is free of charge.

Guided tours with Art Mediators / Assistants

Families with seniors suffering from dementia and memory disorders are particularly welcome to the exhibition. Expressly trained LLMC art mediators/assistants will be available at the premises to accompany you through the exhibition and talk with you, in a non-formal setting, about dementia and the ability of art to help people with memory disorders in their day-to-day lives. In order to arrange a visit (both individual and group visits) together with an art mediator / assistant, please contact Māra Žeikare, the head of educational projects at LLMC by phone – 29586893, or email – mara@lcca.lv.

Accessibility

There are two parking spaces for people with disabilities at the museum entrance on Ukrainas neatkarības iela 1. There’s a ramp at the entrance. In order to ride up and enter the museum, press a specially marked ring button that will summon an assistant working at the museum. An elevator operated by the museum employee takes you up to the first floor. People with disabilities can access the first floor, which houses the ticket office, information center and exhibition spaces hosting Anna Priedola’s show Dairy Diaries as well as the permanent exhibitions dedicated to medieval and Renaissance medicine. A lifting device operated by the museum employee takes you to the basement floor with lockers and toilets. The toilets aren’t fitted for people in a wheelchair. We invite anyone with visual, hearing or mental impairments to apply for a guided tour in the company of an art mediator / assistant. Entrance to the museum is free for people with disabilities.

About the attendance of the exhibition 

The exhibition “Dairy Diaries” is open at Pauls Stradins Medicine History Museum (Riga, Ukrainas neatkarības Street 1) from April 8 to June 5. The museum and exhibition are closed on public holidays – April 15, 17, 18, May 1 and 4. 

Entrance ticket price: Exhibition: Under 18 – 0,50 EUR, Students, seniors – 1,00 EUR, Adults – 2,00 EUR. Combined ticket (permanent exhibition + exhibition): Under 18 – 1,00 EUR, Students, seniors – 2,00 EUR, Adults – 4,00 EUR 

About the artist

Anna Priedola (1988) is an artist living and working in Liepaja. She has a master’s degree in the study program “New Media Art” from the University of Liepaja. The artist currently works as a research assistant in the Art Research Laboratory of the University of Liepaja. The artist develops various interdisciplinary art projects, often collaborating with the local community, researching the issues of sustainable development and the aesthetics of consumer relations. She also works as a curator, researches and interprets the concept of nature, and simulates the experience of nature.

Latvian Center for Contemporary Art

The Latvian Center for Contemporary Art (LLMC) is one of the leading non-governmental institutions that promotes and supports the development of Latvian contemporary art. By implementing international and national art events, the LLMC aims to educate and involve Latvian society in the creation of cultural diversity, an inclusive society, and to increase the understanding of the importance of critical thought. The institution is engaged in research, production of new works, and creation and maintenance of a contemporary art archive. www.lcca.lv

DOTS Foundation for an Open Society

DOTS Foundation for an Open Society is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to strengthen the quality of democracy and raise the culture of negotiation in Latvia. At the same time, the Foundation aims to stimulate interest and participation in public and political processes, as well as to create an inclusive environment for discussion, negotiation, and intellectual curiosity. The DOTS Foundation is the founder and organizer of the LAMPA Conversation Festival. www.fondsdots.lv

Project “Agents of Change: Art Mediation as Conversation”

The exhibition “Dairy Diaries” is part of the international project “Agents of Change: Art Mediation as Conversation” (www.memagents.eu). It aims to raise awareness of contemporary art as a community-based and conversational creation. The project aims to consider the needs of the local community and bring relevant topics to the fore. It is implemented in 2021-2022 within the framework of four countries, in cooperation with five organizations: the Cultural Foundation (Helsinki, Finland), the Tallinn City Museum (Tallinn, Estonia), the Tensta Art Space (Stockholm, Sweden), the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, and the DOTS Open Society Foundation (Riga, Latvia). The project is co-financed by the European Union program “Creative Europe”, the Society Integration Fund, and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

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