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Līga Spunde

There’s No Harm in Any Blessings

There’s No Harm in Any Blessings (2020) is a multimedia installation that is a reflection on relationships, a sense of security, overprotection, and faith in the supernatural as a defense strategy. In addition to her personal stories, Līga Spunde has used motifs from David Vetter’s, “The Bubble Boy’s”, unusual life, which to this day continues to raise questions about the ethics of the experiment.

Līga Spunde, There’s No Harm In Any Blessings, video still, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Līga Spunde, There’s No Harm In Any Blessings, video still, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

David Vetter was born on 21st September 1971 in the USA. Since birth, he suffered from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which made his survival impossible outside a sterile environment. As soon as David was born, his parents made the decision to put him in a special germ-free chamber until a solution for him acquiring immunity could be found. Instead of just a few months, David spent twelve years, i.e. his entire life span, in the chamber. Even though David was provided with conditions conducive for his survival, life in the “bubble” had a powerful impact on his perception of the outer world and his relationship with it.

The video is a poetic collage of facts and interpretations, using motifs from the artist's life, as well as the story of David Vetter. The piece is structured in four parts with two of them taking place in a dark, abstract space. The dialogues were written by Vetter and are from a book about the boy’s life in total isolation Bursting the Bubble: The Tortured Life and Untimely Death of David Vetter by Raymond J. Lawrence and Mary Ada Murphy. When David got very bored, he would write short screenplays, which he would later play out together with his psychotherapist Mary Ada Murphy. The dialogue in the video is a short and simple conversation between a wife (David) and a husband (Murphy), which shows the tragedy of David’s sterile, safe, and isolated life, as well as his reaction to it.

“Just like myself, David too came from a loving family, but, unlike mine, his parents were religious. Faith in a miracle became the central motif of his life, and so did his parents’ decision to protect him from a harsh and unsafe world.”

Video made in collaboration with Lāsma Bērtule, Andris Kudors, Una Eglīte, Māra Uzuliņa, Alvis Misjuns, Kristaps Opincāns, Kaspars Greizis, Uldis Sniķers and Klāvs Mellis.

The project was supported by Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and the State Culture Capital Foundation.

Līga Spunde, There’s No Harm In Any Blessings, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.
Līga Spunde, There’s No Harm In Any Blessings, 2020. Photo: Madara Gritāne / Latvian Center Of Contemporary Art, Riga.

Līga Spunde (1990) is a visual artist based in Riga, Latvia. She often creates her work as multimedia installations in which personal stories are closely entwined with a consciously constructed fiction. The interpretations and use of recognizable characters serve as an extension of her personal experiences, tapping into general truths. The content of the work determines the physical form of the conception, so a variety of media and materials are used in the installations. She received her BFA and MFA degrees in Visual Communication from the Art Academy of Latvia. She has shown her work multiple times in exhibitions in Latvia as well as internationally, including in CAC Brétigny in Paris (2022), Titanik in Turku (2022), Riga Photography Biennial, RMT in Riga (2022), 427 Gallery in Riga (2021), Kogo Gallery in Tartu (2021) and Latvian Center for Contemporary Art in Riga (2020).

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