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Drag Yourself Here: Riga Edition

May 39 - June 30, 2024

MASA studija gallery


From 30 May to 30 June 2024 the exhibition ‘’Drag Yourself Here: Riga Edition’’ will be on view at MASA studija gallery, providing a glimpse into the performance art of drag and queer nightlife.

After being created for Kogo gallery’s (Tartu, Estonia) ‘’Queer It Up’’ theme of 2023, the show finds its way to the heart of Riga to proudly take up space during Baltic Pride in order to celebrate the extended queer community who have made the collective decision to work together for a more joyous and inclusive society, both on and off the stage.

The exhibition, curated by Latvian artist Mētra Saberova and the co-founder and manager of the Baltic Drag King Collective, consists of photographic material from the ongoing activities of the Collective, with individual contributions from 20 drag performers, DJs, photographers and artists from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The display showcases the scope of their performances and their varied approaches to the world of drag, gender roles and their disruption.

Thanks to the sustained support of the Latvian photographers Krista Saberova and Edgars Tabaks, the gallery space will be displaying a super-sized coat covered with photographic documentation of the last five years of the Baltic Drag King Collective’s activities. The drag artists and their extended community from the industry contribute to the layers of fabric, and meanings, with their individual messages, which are exhibited alongside the selection of photographs.

The history of drag kings can be traced back to early vaudeville and the male impersonators of the 18th and 19th centuries when women performed in ‘breeches roles’. Contemporary drag kings expand and build on the significance of having afab (assigned female at birth) performers in the spotlight, creating relatable and bizarre characters who can turn anything into drag – from the classic lip-sync to running for city mayor.

Baltic Drag King Collective is a fluid community of drag performance artists from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania that uses drag as a platform for deconstructing and reinventing gender, educating society, and bringing visibility to the LGBTQ+ community. They focus on the performance of masculinity and the representation of female, trans and non-binary identities. The Collective’s activities include producing drag shows, running workshops, and arranging lectures and discussions. They have networked and cooperated with other queer activists, artists, researchers and organizations from the Baltics, the UK, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Moldova and Ukraine. The Collective has produced drag shows at Riga Pride, Kaunas Pride and Vilnius Pride and has been holding an annual coronation of the Baltic Drag King since 2019.

Accessibility information: The gallery is not wheelchair accessible, is located on the basement level and has 7 + 7 steps to get in.

Curator: Mētra Saberova
Gallery owner: Ksenija Afanasjeva

Artists and contributors: Mētra Saberova (Timmy), Krista Saberova, Edgars Tabaks, Ilze Vēze-Balode (Henry Oak), Mailo Mēness, DJ Lévi, Marss The Person, Vincent Hemingay, Dawn (K!NK), Niko Rain (Bazilix), Vencheska Baltique and Vivianna Maria Stanislavska from Latvia; Hanna Kannelmäe (Eeben Früülep), Maxx Toxic, MajorDanger, Ms Elsa, Helgi Saldo and Wickler Wilde from Estonia; King A and Querelle from Lithuania

Special thanks to Lisett Kruusimäe and Laura Barbo!
Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova

The exhibition installation and public program is supported by the Rights Now foundation.


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