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Have a smashing time at Mark Rothko Art Center

As the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center prepares to celebrate its eighth birthday under trying Covid-inflicted circumstances, it has come up with a novel way of getting the public to mark the occasion.  

The courtyard at the front of the center has been temporarily transformed with what is described as a "Discharge-Recharge Wall – a custom-made site for an interactive self-performance open to anyone willing to join."

In layman's terms, that means chucking plates and cups at the wall so they smash.

"At this time of uncertainty, when phone and computer screens have replaced face-to-face encounters and on-site visits to museums and exhibition grounds remain a distant dream, emotions run high and may make us lash out at the few remaining people still around us," comments a release from the center.

"Concerned for the mental state of its colleagues and the general public, the Rothko Center team has prepared a targeted and controlled anger management tool – an interactive Discharge-Recharge Wall. With this new art site for interactive self-performance, the Rothko Centre celebrates its eighth birthday and heralds the Latvia Ceramics Biennale scheduled for the upcoming summer.

"We all likely have chipped, unwanted, or downright irritating mugs, plates or other ceramic objects shoved away somewhere, gathering dust – things we’ve become bored with and would love to get rid of. Why not take these worthless objects, the proverbial ammunition in any domestic argument worth its salt, and put them to use by smashing against our Discharge-Recharge wall? Thus, releasing our frustration, we can recharge for a new start, clear our shelves and minds, and channel away our anger in a controlled and targeted intervention.

"Every new trace of discharge-recharge will add up to the previous evidence. Potentially, we should reach the Latvia Ceramics Biennale with a substantial pile of ceramic shards in the Rothko Centre courtyard. Everyone is free to add to the installation with their own act of discharge-recharge until October 2021." 

Never has wanton vandalism been so appealing, nor been given such impressive artistic credentials!

However, while any passing Greek weddings are likely to find the wall irrestistible, the public is advised to "Kindly use only ceramic or porcelain objects and exercise caution – the discharge-recharge process may generate ceramic sparks, so let’s be mindful of ourselves and others."

The chance to cause such crockery-based carnage is an excellent excuse to visit Daugavpils. Latvia's second-largest city and birthplace of Mark Rothko. You could even take a picnic... and then smash it up! 

Meanwhile, management says that as soon as current restrictions are lifted, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center will resume receiving visitors with a brand-new permanent exhibition.

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