Ambereum (2018)

RIBOCA, Riga Biennial, Latvia
Sensorium | installation view | diverse material like colored foil on glass, amber carpet and dulbont mirrors in various sizes


The Ambereum (2018) is an immersive, integrative, gathering space created by artist Viron Erol Vert to suggest both a Greek temple and a nightclub. The Ambereum is a site for people to dwell and listen to its sounds, which change daily, and for evening concerts.

The artwork here is the creation of a sphere that has a decelerating e ect on the body and the mind. The space is atmospheric, secluded and transports you with its soft organic amber interior, mirror ceiling, foiled windows and ambient sound. To the visitors of the Art Station Dubulti, as well as to the daily users of the train station, it o ers an atmosphere that slightly varies from day to day and that facilitates the balancing of reluctant opposites to create a purifying and stimulating state of contemplation.

Endless amounts of amber have been found along the coastal areas of Latvia, and also at Jurmala. The Baltic Sea has been called the ‘Amber Sea’ and amber ‘the Gold of the North. Historically, amber has been used for trade, establishing strong trade routes between, e.g., the Baltic and Mediterranean regions. The concept of the Ambereum is based on the qualities of amber, 40,000 year-old petri ed pine resin, which is sometimes found containing insects and plants—a microscopic world of frozen life and time.

Here, metaphorically, the installation allows people to feel as if they dwell outside of time. The Ambereumintensi es these associations by merging Baltic pagan culture and Mediterranean mythology, appointing the god Apollo as its key symbolic sure. Apollo was the Greek god of music and poetry, but medicine and healing were also central to his purview – amber is also purported to have healing qualities.

The aim of this heterotopic meeting-place, based on the template of a Greek temple, is to create a smooth space where relations can form, queering social, spiritual and cultural di erences – vertically or horizontally. The alchemical motto ‘the above is like the below’ informs the idea of the Ambereum, as do the nine muses of Greek mythology and the nine-day week of ancient Balts, inspiring the music programming, which runs in a nine day cycle.