Through dialogue, we propose to build on the new openness of the art world to the richness of global creativity, to diminish insecurity about the culture of the "other." The goal of TUKKU MAGI is to position itself as a North European intellectual site that involves the local, regional and global community, bringing artistic expression, vision, and skill to the forefront of thought and action for a more successful collective future.
Beginning with our first exhibition, “Without Fetish,” our goal has been to introduce new content into traditional platforms (museums, exhibition spaces, conference halls) and to grant new meaning to unusual platforms that have not previously been used for such projects.
“Bez Fetiša/Without Fetish” exhibition, Introduction of TUKKU MAGI Project, Rumene Manor, Latvia, August 2019
A “fetish” is an object believed to have supernatural powers, and, in particular, a human-made object that has power over others. At the same time, “fetish” remains a charged term to describe how people grant excessive meaning and power to human creations—material objects, celebrity, political figures and institutions. With the “Bez Fetiša/Without Fetish” exhibition, the TUKKU MAGI Project calls its viewers to recognize the continuing power of art as well as the pitfalls of the wrong sort of fetishism across the globe today—to imagine a world that preserves the art of the fetish, yet which moves beyond fetishism.
TUKKU MAGI. Parallel lines intersect!
The “TUKKU MAGI. Parallel lines intersect!” exhibition is a collaborative project of the Tukums History Museum Castle Tower and the Tukku Magi international cultural project.
The exhibition’s central idea is to show how here, in the small territory of Tukums, Latvia, an astounding puzzle has been assembled—a puzzle that has brought everything together: history, the contemporary moment, fate, and happy coincidence.
The exhibit is dedicated to two anniversaries. The first is commemoration of one hundred and fifty years since the founding in 1890 of the Zēbergs Malt Factory, an enterprise that under various names and fields of activities functioned as a center of regional economic activity through eras of revolution, war, and peace up to its closure in 1999. The second is the recent centennial of the publication of avant-garde artist Voldemars Matvejs’ groundbreaking book about African art. For many years, Matvejs taught art at the Tukums municipality school. His book was one of the first such works to be written in Europe.
These events would remain merely separate, intriguing historical episodes, if not for the Tukku Magi project, founded in order to bring the Tukku Magi Museum and Cultural Center into existence in Tukums. Here, the inscrutable movements of history and chance have brought together once again the cultural traditions of Europe and Africa in the industrial spaces of the Zēbergs Factory, one of Tukums most iconic structures. “TUKKU MAGI. Parallel lines intersect!” presents the trajectories of these parallel histories in a series of objects from the Latvian and African cultural traditions, from local and global history.
Janis Jakobsons and Zoya Frolova, curators of exhibition and founders of Tukku Magi project
The exhibition uses objects and materials from the Tukums Museum, the collection of the “Tukku Magi Kolekcija” fond, the Latvian National Museum of History, the Information Center of the Latvian Academy of Arts and the National Archives of Latvia.