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  1. After making a detour in Berlin earlier this year, LATVIAN INSTITUTE ROME  is returning to where it belongs and is delighted to present YOUNG POPES

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    in the Tower of Villa Maraini - Istituto Svizzero di Roma, via Ludovisi 48, 00187 Rome.

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    "Have you watched the HBO series "The Young Pope"? If you haven’t you should do so. It recounts the trials and tribulations of Cardinal Ozolins - not mainly, strictly speaking, but anyway (spoiler alert) Ozo gets banished to Alaska for being a quisling by Jude Law’s Pope Pius XIII. A bit harsh, some would say, but we withhold our judgement.

    Some scenes in this series were filmed on the rooftop-terrace of Villa Maraini - Istituto Svizzero di Roma. We thought it would be rather fitting to hold the opening reception and to salute Cardinal Ozolins and the whole thing on that very terrace.

    Another figure this exhibition gives a nod to is the Latvian modernist painter Niklāvs Strunke. He had lived and worked in Rome for a number of years, his over-extended “artistic residency” finding its conclusion at the Cimitero Acattolico. Strunke’s spindly figure makes an appearance in some of the pieces on show. By the way, he is said to have introduced the word “ciao” into Latvian language in the 1930’s, to which we say: chapeau.

    “The Young Pope” is rumoured to be returning for a second season sometime in the future. In the meantime, Latvian Institute Rome is holding this exhibition to fill in the void. The opening reception will take place on April 21st, 4pm to 8pm. Rooftop confessions will be heard after sunset."

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    https://www.latvianinstituterome.com/

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    My contribution to exhibition YOUNG POPES was booklet dedicated to Niklavs Strunke.

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    Q: What is Art?

    A: Art is the revelation of irreal beauty as a real result of the artist’s creativity.
     
    Q: Is art decadent?
    A: Art, in itself, has never been decadent, but constructive. Only schools of painting and their derivations can be decadent.
     
    Q: What are your thoughts on oversight and support of the arts by the state?
    A: Such oversight is undesirable. By controlling art, the state, wether it wants it or not, can impose its demands and directives, thus limiting art's natural development and steering it in other directions - necessary to the state but alien to art.
     
    Q: Are you a genius?
    A: Already in early childhood my inner thriving concentrated on the arts - this impulse was my talent. Wether it is great or small can be judged by those who evaluate - and will be evaluating - my work. In my subsequent development I had then activated it consciously. That is, I practiced certain disciplines in which I express myself.
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    From an interview with Niklāvs Strunke in connection with a invitation to participate in a modern art exhibition in London in 1949.
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    Photo: Edgars Gluhovs; I M