Akademia: Performing Life

13 Jan 2018 – 24 Mar 2018

Cost of entry

Free of charge

Paris, France


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The exhi­bi­tion will look at nar­ra­tives and themes springing from the Akademia, a com­mu­nity and a school established by Raymond Duncan, American dancer and artist, and co-ran by Aia Bertrand. It existed between the 1920s and 1970s in Paris, offering free courses in dance, arts, and crafts.


Akadémia: Performing Life

With (-)auteur, Mercedes Azpilicueta (Pernod Ricard Fellow 2017), Ieva Balode, Yaïr Barelli, Aia Bertrand, Raymond Duncan, Ieva Epnere, Barbara Gaile, Daiga Grantina, Myriam Lefkowitz, Mai-Thu Perret, Andrejs Strokins

Curators : Solvita Krese, Inga Lāce, Camille Chenais

The exhibition “Akademia: Performing Life” will look at narratives and themes springing from Akademia, a community and an alternative school that offered courses in dance, art and crafts, hosted an art gallery and a publishing house and staged theatre and dance pieces between the 1910s and 1970s in Paris. Established by Raymond Duncan, American dancer and artist, and since the 1920s co-run by Aia Bertrand, a dancer, writer and an expatriate from Latvia, the Akademia was a manifestation of their ideological syncretism blending socialist principles, the desire to revive ancient Greece and a “natural” Latvian way of life. The exhibition aims to explore the ideas and principles embodied by Akademia at its inception as potential alternatives to traditional models of education, creation and community life, while also questioning its more obscure aspects.

“Akademia: Perfoming Life” unfolds over two chapters at Villa Vassillief, Paris and Latvian National Museum of Art; the exhibition is coproduced by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Bétonsalon — Center for Art and Research.


Inga Lāce

Solvita Krese

Camille Chenais

Exhibiting artists

Barbara Gaile

Raymond Duncan

Aia Bertrand

Myriam Lefkowitz

Yaïr Barelli

Daiga Grantina

Ieva Epnere

Ieva Balode

Mercedes Azpilicueta

Andrejs Strokins

Mai-Thu Perret


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