Full name: Katrīna Dūka
Currently lives and works in Riga, Latvia
Organization: The New Theatre Institute of Latvia
Areas of interest: Contemporary performing arts, artistic interventions, interdisciplinary practices
Favorite books: Harry Potter series – never stop believing in magic!
Favorite film: “Paris is burning” (dir. Jennie Livingston, 1991)
I’m a silent observer but I speak my mind. I strongly believe in the importance of staying true to oneself and being honest both in life and art, no matter how uncomfortable the truth might be. For me as a curator and producer, it’s essential to work with the artist’s ideas assisting and guiding them in the creative process. Projects that invite artists and curators to go outside their comfort zone and create new alternatives for familiar structures are what keeps me driven and inspired.
Why are you a part of MagiC Carpets?
I’m a part of MagiC Carpets because it’s one of a kind opportunity to work internationally with artists and curators who are at the beginning of their international careers.
Why have you chosen to be a curator or why has curatorship chosen you?
My path to curatorship was accidental, but I’ve been interested in the concept of a performing arts curator for some time now, therefore, I decided to give this project a chance and challenge myself.
What do you think is the purpose of art?
The purpose of art is to make people think.
Past projects you are proud of (before MC)?
“Mee mee Generation”, a multimedia performance by Elmārs Seņkovs, was the first performance I worked at as a production assistant for the International Festival of Contemporary Theatre “Homo Novus” in 2015, and it completely changed how I looked at theatre as a platform for creating a dialogue between people who would most likely never engage in one. The performance is a conversation with five real school children who belong to the Me Me Me Generation – it’s an intimate meeting between the spectator and a young adult who gazes from a screen. Although my role in the project was small, the influence the experience left motivated me to pursue theatre production as a career.
Through research and artistic interventions “Theatre Expanded II” explored and tested the potential for the collaboration between performing art and other fields (education, science, economy, politics, social sciences, technologies, etc.) in order to create new products, services, organizations, structures, ecosystems and new realities. Six emerging theatre artists and two emerging creative producers from Latvia developed new proposals for artistic interventions and engaged with several organizations, communities and even members of the Plantae kingdom. As a creative producer I worked closely with artists and people from non-art organizations and took part in the research process assisting the artists to form a platform for collaboration between both sides.
In 2017, I invited an experimental theatre group D’EPOG from Czech Republic to give a guest performance and lead a workshop for local theatre students in Riga. D’EPOG creates a platform for contemporary experimental stage work, maneuvering between drama, physical theatre, performance art, and multimedia. This is a very special project to me, because it couldn’t have happened without taking great risks and having an absolute trust in one another. My main role in this project was to convince stakeholders why it was important to have a theatre group that’s completely unknown outside the Czech Republic come with a performance that’s not easy to be understood.