Waterpieces Video Festival
For Wilfried, Riga became relevant already immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. One of his first travels to Eastern Europe were leading Wilfried to the Baltic countries, there was a direct train from Berlin to Riga. These train travels to the (former) Sovjet territory were quite exciting because of the different railway systems between Eastern and Western Europe – and on the Lithuanian border the train changed its weels in order to fit in the Sovjet weels system. It was a challenging time meeting Communist leaders still in power in a slowly changing political system. But a collaboration was established only many years later in 2011 when Wilfried was planning “CologneOFF 2011 – videoart in a global context” – Riga as a venue – and Waterpieces – Contemporary Art & Video Festival – run by the cultural organisation NOASS with its floating galleries. Wilfried’s programs were so huge and strong, standing in competition with other guest festivals like the prestigious Oberhausen Shortfilm Festival and Japan Media Art Festival, but the local curators and the audience liked only Wilfied’s ambitious videoart programs. Wilfried was really proud when people generally was disqualifying the Oberhausen Festival program as boring, because only some months earlier Mr. Glass, the Oberhausen Festival director had told Wilfried, The Oberhausen Festival would not collaborate with such festivals like Wilfried’s CologneOFF, and being honest Wilfried himself agreed that the selection from Oberhausen hadn’t that quality Wilfried ever would consider for selecting. So, in a certain way, Wilfried was the winner of the competition for the public’s favour in front of the magnificent medieval scenery of Riga.
The second major collaboration with Noass was taking place one year later in 2012 – A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 – presenting the Shoah Film Collection – 1-30 June 2012 (topic of a previous article), and – today on 19 August 2012, is the final day of Waterpieces Festival 2012 presenting Wilfried’s selection of “Mexican Visions” – videoart from Mexico as the 2nd collaboration in 2012. In 2014, Wilfried will be the next time invited to contribute a screening program on occasion of the official cultural programs of “RIGA – European Capital of Culture 2014”. So, these four collaborations were really strong and good, thanks to the former NOASS president – Dzintarz Zilgalvis, who unfortunately retired meanwhile, and such changes introducing new, younger generations of organisers are representing always a kind of system change, where it is not completely clear, yet, to which direction this unique and very original cultural organisation NOASS is leading to. (??) Hopefully to a bright future!
Waterpieces Contemporary Art & Video Festival