You are welcome to join the closing events of the exhibition “WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale)”

skyssa inthedune withflags small
Bryndís Björnsdóttir​, Landráð II: Unearthing, digital collage, work in progress, 2017
The “When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale)” exhibition has come to an end. VAA Nida Art Colony kindly invites you to join the the closing events on 25–26th of August.


25 August 

9 – 10 pm 
Guided tour with the exhibition curators The Many Headed Hydra (Emma Haugh, Suza Husse)

The Many Headed Hydra is a shape-shifting collective interested in myths, practices andfluid geographies that emerge from bodies of water. Founded by the artist Emma Haugh and the curator Suza Husse at District Berlin in 2016 and developed with people from different islands, continents and peninsulas, The Many Headed Hydra is a queer, feminist, post-colonial art project. Involving research, art making and publishing based on collaboration and modes of storytelling The Many Headed Hydra uses publication as a performative device and surfaces in the form of magazines, exhibitions and evocations.

10 – 11.30 pm 
Sea of Living Memories (2016)
POTOM (2016) 
by Ieva Epnere 
Filmscreening and conversation


According to the USSR Council of Ministers 29th July 1946 decision No. 1435-631cc "To create borderland areas in Latvia", on the 4th of September 1946 the Council of Ministers of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted decision No. 751cc "About the USSR borderlands’ restricted zones and regime", which states that the 2km stretch from the Baltic Sea coastline is a seacoast borderland area for the following settlements: Dundaga, Ance, Varve, Uzava, Jurkalne, Ulmale, Saka, Ziemupe, Medze, Grobina, Perkone, Rucava. Later this list was supplemented, and the Baltic Sea coastline was inaccessible to persons not residing there. Persons living in the borderland area got a stamp in their passport: “жытель пограничной зоны” (transl. from Russian: Resident of a borderland). This did not give them the right to access the sea everywhere. The city of Liepaja was demarcated with a prohibited zone status, which meant that one of the biggest Latvian ports ceased to operate.

Every evening a 6-meter-wide "footprint detection zone” was made in the dune area with a special harrow. It was inspected every morning by the border guards together with trained dogs. Border guard units were established in every seaside village and inhabited area from Rucava to the city of Jurmala, in Riga’s Kundzinsala and Bolderaja, to oversee the sea day and night, to make sure of no trespassers, and to no one attempting to flee Latvia. All vessels were registered and counted and fishermen were strongly controlled and watched over when going to sea. Border guard units were given land, where they built learning polygons, shooting ranges, and where military equipment and communications were placed. Personnel were deployed in the homes of the border residents that had been deported or had fled.

Excerpt from I. Upmalis’, E. Stankevičs’, E. Tilgass’ book “Latvia under Soviet Military rule (1939-1999)”, chapter “Soviet KGB Border Intervention Teams in Latvia”

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Still from Sea of Living Memories by Ieve Epnere
Ieve Epnere’s Sea of Living Memories is a body of work that investigates the psychological and cultural relics of Soviet military presence on the Baltic coast in Latvia. In POTOM (2016) a man* by the sea becomes a symbol for the struggles of non-citizenship, a ghostly figure between past and future.

Directing, concept, editing: Ieva Epnere
Camera (Sea of Living Memories): Baiba Kļava
Camera (POTOM): Baiba Kļava, Jānis Šēnbergs
Sound: Ernests Ansons; Composer: Edgars Rubens
Editing engineer:  Miks Ramāns 

26 August

5.30 – 7 pm 
Landráð II: Unearthing
Performance by Bryndís Björnsdóttir​

Bryndís Björnsdóttir performs a hybrid and subversive figure of the Mountain Woman, the national personification of Iceland. In an amalgamation of birch tar, feathers and flamenco dance, the Mountain Woman seeks counseling from the dunes for Landráð, a betrayal of the fatherland.

7 – 8.30 pm 
When the Sea Looks Back. A Serpent’s Tale
Radio Magazine by Golden Diskó Ship 
Live broadcast in the exhibition and on Neringa FM

For the live radio magazine - a cooperation with the local radio station Neringa FM - Golden Diskó Ship samples sound from the collaborative research during the project, audio elements from the artistic contributions to the exhibition and program as well as local field recordings with her own music. 

Golden Diskó Ship evokes lucid dreams. For the live radio magazine - a cooperation with the local radio station Neringa FM - Golden Diskó Ship samples sound from the collaborative research during the project, audio elements from the artistic contributions to the exhibition and program as well as local field recordings with her own music. 
After its itineration at VAA Nida Art Colony WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale) will re-surface at District Berlin from 19 October to 6 December 2017.

WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale) is a polyphonic oracle that takes the form of an exhibition, a series of evocations and a radio magazine curated by The Many Headed Hydra. Engaging the sea as a mirror and the serpent as a trickster The Many Headed Hydra surfacesat Nida Art Colony to weave a tale from the crossings of landscape, body and power. 
More about the exhibition

With contributions by Bryndis Björnsdottír, Cooltūristės, Ieva Epnere, Daniel Falb, Sonja Gerdes, Ulrike Gerhardt, Golden Diskó Ship, Emma Haugh, Suza Husse, Almagul Menlibayeva, Sondra Perry, Virgilijus Šonta, Elsa Westreicher
Curators: The Many Headed Hydra (Emma Haugh, Suza Husse)
A project by Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts and District Berlin
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Supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture & the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, Goethe Institute Lithuania, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme

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Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts
E.A. Jonušo str. 3, Nida, Neringa