A soft landing refers to a slow cooling down of the economy following a period of rapid expansion and growth. It usually involves the government’s attempts to slow down inflation thus avoiding the recession. The term is borrowed from aviation where the soft landing refers to a smooth landing without hitches.
In the post-socialist countries since the transition from the communist to capitalist systems, newly emerging national economies have followed a bumpy ride, often without skilful manoeuvring and devoid of soft landings. The video works in this session emphasize the life and work of communities and individuals in the changing economic and social circumstances, often starkly highlighting the already existing gender, ethnic or class inequalities, generational differences and difficulties to adapt, a general economic precarity, as well as emancipatory examples and utopian imaginaries.
Most recently, enforced by a global pandemic many of us learned to lead our work and lives fully online. What awaits us in the future and what else are we capable of adapting to? How can we avoid sliding towards even larger segregation enhanced by the digital divide? Can we fly and perform a soft landing?
*The title of the program Soft Landing is inspired by Flo Kasearu’s work Endangered Species where she uses the term in the Estonian context of changing economic situations and attitudes.
Inga Lāce is currently a C-MAP Central and Eastern Europe Fellow at MoMA, New York. She has been curator at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art since 2012 and co-curated (with Valentinas Klimašauskas) the Latvian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019 with the artist Daiga Grantina.
Traffic by Katrīna Neiburga, 2003
Mercedes Matrix by Selma Selman, 2020. Performance documentation.
Mishanya by Diana Tamane, 2020
Landslide by Oleksiy Radynski, 2016
it would not be possible to leave planet earth unless gravity existed by Driant Zeneli, 2017
Endangered Species by Flo Kasearu, 2020