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Rome and the Teacher: Astra Zarina Opening March 14 in Riga, Latvia

March 4, 2024

On view March 15 – April 27, 2024.
Riga, Latvia. National Library of Latvia, 1st floor exhibition space.
Opening reception March 14 from 17:00 – 21:00.

From the press release by Arhiteksti:

Rome and the Teacher, Astra Zarina is a tribute exhibition that honors the intellectual legacy of the prominent Latvian architect and educator Astra Zarina.

Rome and the Teacher examines private and public spaces in Zarina’s long-term research subject, Rome. The exhibition is conceptually grounded in her 1976 book “I tetti di Roma: Le terrazze, le altane, i belvedere” or “The Roofs of Rome”, co-authored together with Hungarian-American photographer Balthazar Korab. In the book, Zarina detailed the relationship between urban design and individual expression, arguing that most urban spaces can be socially active, can provide insights into society, and reveal its habits and peculiarities.

In addition to researching Rome, Zarina also actively promoted the preservation of the small Italian hilltown, Civita di Bagnoregio, founding the Civita Institute in 1981.

Exhibition media ranges from reproductions of historic maps to original drawings and architectural models, including large-format prints of Balthazar Korab’s photographs, Zarina’s personal sketches, large-format prints of the works of architect Steven Holl, handwritten letters, and models of the proposed memorial “Belvedere” dedicated to Zarina. Works created by students at the CIVITA 2023 workshop in November 2023 will complement the exhibition.

Rome and the Teacher opens at the National Library of Latvia on Thursday, March 14 from 17:00 – 21:00, with opening statements, a video interview with Steven Holl (moderated by Marisa Espe), and an opening reception. A specially prepared short film about Zarina’s lifelong contribution to architecture and her influence on Steven Holl’s professional career will be presented at the opening event.

The exhibition is part of the II. International Architectural Design Conference RIXARCH 2024, organized by the RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design (FAD). The conference will be dedicated to the creative legacy of Astra Zarina and will spotlight a keynote speech by the president of the Civita Institute, Nancy Josephson, among others.

The exhibition is organized by ‘T’ Space / Steven Myron Holl Foundation and presented by ARHITEKSTI Foundation and RISEBA University Faculty of Architecture and Design (FAD).

Rome and the Teacher is supported by the Latvian Association of Architects, the National Library of Latvia, the American Latvian Association Cultural Foundation (ALA KF), Orac Decor, Lumenu Centrs, and Linda and Atis Zariņš.

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