From March 12th to June 7th, the Rīgas Cirks Gallery is hosting the exhibition “Metamorphoses of Fun”, featuring the oldest part of the Rīgas Cirks archives – a collection of historical circus posters.

When: Attending events at Rīgas Cirks – no entrance fee / Group visits can be booked on weekdays at cirks@cirks.lv (guided group tour – 25 EUR)

Where: Rīgas Cirks (Merķeļa Street 4, Riga)


The opening season will be enriched with the exhibition of historical posters, photographs and Rīgas Cirks related objects “Metamorphoses of Fun” – an object-based, textual and photographic journey from more than 100 years of circus history to the more recent past. In the exhibition, you can see the transformation of Dora Kliča – from the only strongwoman, and chain-breaker to a dog trainer, learn about the ever-changing relationship of Mademoiselle Tanni (Tatjana Šabana) with the circus, see the piano that saved the circus building and witness many more stories of circus transformation.

Artists who have experienced moments of dizzying fame in our circus arena – jugglers, martial artists, clowns, acrobats, dog trainers and balance experts. All as one from another era, performing for an audience of the past. The stories of these legendary circus performers have been brought back to the present day through historical circus posters. On the occasion of the 135th anniversary of the Rīgas Cirks, take the opportunity to take a look at our shared multi-layered history!

Since its beginning, the art of circus has been stunningly nimble and agile – able to adapt to the whims of the planet, history and society.

The survival of circus art has always depended on its ability to sense the mood of society, so it has always been very sensitive and reflexive of any changes in society. Circus artists have magically managed to surprise and entertain very different groups of society. The programme in Rīgas Cirks historically have changed every month, thus, in the changes of circus art and its artists, we can observe the metamorphosis of aesthetics, ethics and humour in society not only over centuries, decades, but even months.

Today, research into the history of the Riga Circus is still in its infancy. The archive of historical material at Rīgas Cirks is slowly being explored and studied. “Metamorphoses of Fun” shows the oldest part of the archive collection – historical posters dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Based on this part of the collection, we have highlighted artists whose carriers reflect the capacity, desire and needs of the Salamonsky Circus (later Rīgas Cirks) to change, transform and adapt. However, the story also includes individual characters and objects representing other times, symbolising metamorphosis as an ever-present part of the circus.


Curated by: Elvīra Avota un Una Rozenbauma

Artist: Kristīne Abika