2007 | 6 | 211-222
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SCULPTURE IN SUBURBAN AREA (Telnieciba piepilsetas vide)

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Unfortunately, sculptural works in suburban areas are often mismanaged by monument supervision services and subjected to neglectful circumstances. This fate has befallen the sculptor Janis Karlovs' monument 'Archer' (1981, copper forging) set up in the surroundings of the Riga Thermal Power Station TEC-2, in two kilometres from the Riga city borderline. About the late 1960s and early 1970s when Riga grew rapidly there were calls in both the press and experts' circles to place sculptures in the new districts, including industrial zones. This tendency was fostered by Riga sculpture quadrennials taking place since 1972, and debates at these conferences. Sculptor Janis Karlovs' composition 'Archer' was commissioned by the Riga Thermal Power Station TEC-2 that was part of the All-Union Energy and Electrification Department and was completed in the 1970s. The sculpture was included in the organisation project of services and facilities of the surroundings. The planning of the area envisaged by this project (architect Aivars Berzins) was not realised. The figural image was set up in front of the industrial complex in an open space. Now the monument is severely damaged with several copper sheets torn off. It turns out that this important, artistically compelling work has no owner. It is neither included in the balance of the company TEC-2 nor listed as a monument by the Salaspils Regional Council. So it is impossible to seek financial support for its restoration. One should note that the monumental composition 'Archer' was created in the stagnant period of Soviet occupation when part of society already started to offer resistance. The style of the archer expressed irreconcilability and spiritual tension. It manifested a wide scope of associations and semantic layers. We can recall that the image of the archer, known as the symbol of fire in the zodiac, becomes the indication of vitality and power in modern sculpture. The motif of archer is found in French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle's (1861-1929) and Latvian monument sculptor Karlis Zale's (1888-1942) heritage.
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