"5 kids, two hipsters, a couple of police officers and a confused old lady at an art exhibition, at the same time, it's like an art trap".
The Occupational Gallery
Petro Wodkins in his first art exhibition in the Baltics occupied a deserted house at Maskavas ilea 87 in central Riga. Some of the artworks exhibited was shown for the first time, like “My gift to Mugabe”. The exhibition contained a prototype of the artwork My gift to Robert, which beginning of 2014 created international drama when Petro Wodkins went to Zimbabwe and placed a golden statue on Mugabe Drive playing a critical song of Robert Mugabe, Mr Wodkins was then chased from Zimbabwe by Mugabes army forces. Also the Armani Diapers artwork was shown for the first time, an artwork reported by Daily Mail and NBC after Petro Wodkins faked an ad saying Armani was starting to sell diapers, a story that became a global news story.
The exhibition in Riga was an experiment where Petro Wodkins was leaving his artworks unguarded to see how people would interact with art when no one is watching. The location is chosen to highlight the worn down but beautiful area of the Moscow district which is situated only a few kilometers from Old Riga City center but is in a miserable condition.
The exhibition attracted several hundra visitors until the main part of the artworks was stolen. The police started an investigation but the artworks has not been found.
The exhibition was covered in the main Lativian news media, there was speculations on two Swedes being part of the theft.