Laura Fiorio (IT/DE)

Portrait of Kārlis Johansons

In the 1920s, Cesis-born artist Kārlis Johansons (1890–1929) was working in Moscow and infiltrated the Russian avant-garde and constructivist movement. His main achievement was the discovery of the tensional integrity or tensegrity structure. Made of rods, the structure is held together by tensioned cables attached to the ends of the rods.

Johansons died young, his work was destroyed and forgotten. The concept of tensional integrity was rediscovered in the 1950s and applied to engineering structures. The large-scale portrait of Kārlis Johansons is dedicated to him as an avant-garde artist from Cesis worth discovering.

Our best, 2021

From 1952 to 2005, a tuberculosis hospital operated on the premises of Rucka Manor. Several info boards with text and photos have survived, documenting the hospital’s employees, their day-to-day work and celebrating the best workers of the time. The artist used these historical pictures to create a big format collage on the wall of the building, a site specific installation that portrays former employees.

Work therapy, 2021

From 1952 to 2006, a tuberculosis hospital operated on the premises of Rucka Manor. Part of the hospital’s rehabilitation programme was making patients carry out tasks according to their abilities.

The artist created the images on the wall and window of the building at Rucka using photos from the days of the tuberculosis hospital. The work honors the former hospital’s staff and patients. Their lives and working days went by under cautious conditions similar to today’s Covid-19 pandemic.