Zane Onckule, recipient of 2017 the Jānis Grundmanis Postgraduate Fellowship, has concluded her first year studies at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (she is scheduled to complete a Master of Arts program in Spring 2019). She describes the curatorial project that she is developing for her master’s degree.
THESIS BALTICANA will cast light on, narrate, analyze and poeticize the ever-obscure concept of the Baltics, which are comprised of three countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – all celebrating the centennial of their national Independence in 2018. Maximizing the implicit notion of AMERICANA that comes along with the socio-political framework and geography of the United States this project largely “denounces” the concept of the Nation State and will re-brand the notion of the Baltics, introducing instead the concept of BALTICANA. THESIS BALTICANA will be based on case studies of peculiar (selected) historic, sociopolitical, artistic, and popular culture realities turned into metaphors, keywords and eventually shaped into stories fit for public events, written text or a display of artifacts. I envisage THESIS BALTICANA to be a cohesive plot unfolding in several subsequent parts. It will start with a prelude – a series of public and private events – to bring people together in various forms of social gatherings, as a way to announce the project. Materials, such as a “BALTICANA” Wikipedia page, will be used as a platform to display a project related Annotated Bibliography. The next stage will comprise a written thesis, enriched by the consultations with a specially created group of advisors. Finally, a curatorial component in a form of a visual presentation-interpreting BALTICANA will be visually constructed and installed in collaboration with U.S. artists and others.