Baltic Fellowships for Performa Biennial 2023 Announced

Performa Biennial and the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) are pleased to announce the recipients of three Performa Baltic Fellowships. Fellowships were awarded to three upcoming curators from the Baltic region: Aiste Liuka Jonynaite from Lithuania, Tina Petersone from Latvia, and Kerly Ritval from Estonia. The citywide Performa Biennial takes place across New York City from November 1-19, 2023, and the fellowships from September 5th to November 29th, 2023 also in NYC. 

Aiste Liuka Jonynaite (b. 1998) is an art historian and emerging curator based in Vilnius, Lithuania and London. She holds an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Jonynaite‘s research interests revolve around the convergence of political participation and dance theory, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Tina Petersone (b. 1994) is an independent curator from Riga, Latvia. She holds an MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2021, Petersone co-founded the art space TUR and developed an exhibition program, with two solo exhibitions nominated for the Purvītis Prize, the most prestigious art award in Latvia. She is currently a guest curator at the art centre Zuzeum in Riga, Latvia and at ETC Magazine in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Kerly Ritval (b.1996) is a curator and critic from Estonia. Her diverse interests encompass various subjects, primarily contemporary art, performance, and architecture. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Art and Visual Culture Studies and Curatorial Studies, respectively, from the Estonian Academy of Arts. Kerly has worked in institutions such as the Museum of Estonian Architecture, Kondas Centre, Listval gallery in Reykjavik, and at the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.  

The inaugural Baltic fellowship program was initiated by ECADC in collaboration with Rupert and Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. An international jury consisted of Performa’s executive producer Esa Nickle and curator Defne Ayas, Viktorija Šiaulytė from Rupert, Solvita Krese from the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Karin Laansoo from the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center & Kai Art Center.

Performa is an internationally-acclaimed organization that is dedicated to live interdisciplinary performance by visual artists. The biennial’s 2023 edition will premiere new commissions by Julien Creuzet, Marcel Dzama, Nikita Gale, Nora Turato, Franz Erhard Walther, and Haegue Yang. This year marks the return of the Pavilion Without Walls programme, and features new performances by a cohort of experimental Finnish artists, including Teo Ala-Ruona, Anna Maria Häkkinen, Niko Hallikainen, and Pilvi Takala, among others.

The nonprofit arts organization has been an important career milestone for many curators and producers, and will be celebrating 20 years of operation in 2024. 

This year’s fellowship assignments include working with Performa’s archive materials, assisting the biennial’s team in preparing different arts projects, organizing events in the Performa Hub, and researching the history of conceptual art, architecture, protests, and dissidence as performance. Designed by Berlin-based architect Assaf Kimmel, Performa Hub will be a temporary performance and gathering space in downtown Manhattan that will serve as the locus for all things Performa throughout the biennial.  

Performa Baltic Fellowships are supported by the Baltic Culture Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Photo above by Nour el Helou. Pictured from left Tina Petersone, Aiste Liuka Jonynaite and Kerly Ritval.