In April, we can look forward to celebratory events marking the off-year of the Riga Photography Biennial 2016 - 2018
In April, we can look forward to celebratory events marking the off-year of the Riga Photography Biennial 2016 - 2018 – three exhibitions, an online gif animation project, a discussion dedicated to emerging artists in the context of current photography, as well as a new publication featuring events and themes explored in the Biennial. During each off-year of the Riga Photography Biennial (RPB) attention will be directed primarily towards the emerging European artists, who are currently at the beginning of their creative career. This will be an opportunity for the audience to get to know emerging and promising authors, as they continue to develop the existing and widely known traditions of photography whilst shaping the new language of this medium.
There will be three exhibitions opening as part of the programme for the off-year of the Biennial 2016 - 2018: ‘We are not invisible’ at the Latvian Museum of Photography from 6 April to 7 May is a solo show by Gunta Podiņa, a Latvian born artist currently living in Sweden. In her exhibition of documentary photography, the internationally acclaimed artist has focused her attention on a socially unprotected group in Latvian society – the lives of inhabitants of Strazdumuiža, a ‘village for the blind’. The exhibition is curated by Maira Dudareva, director of the Latvian Museum of Photography. ‘ΜΗΧΑΝΙΚΟΣ’ (‘Michanikos’) at ‘Alma’ Gallery from 7 April to 19 May is an exhibition by a Danish artist Amalie Smith, winner of the Crown Prince Couple’s ‘Rising Star’ Award 2015. The exhibition curator is art critic Lizete Riņķe (Denmark / Latvia). ‘Public = Private’, an exhibition by a new generation of French artists at Art Space ‘Brīvības 75’ in Dailes Theatre will be the focal event of the intermediary year. Running from 20 April to 16 June, this exhibition will show the work of Guillaume Martial, Zacharie Gaudrillot – Roy, Morgane Denzler and Manon Recordon, traversing various forms of interaction between urban environments and photography. The exhibition curator will be Inga Brūvere, director of the Riga Photography Biennial. This exhibition is supported by the French Institute in Latvia and marks its 20th anniversary.
During the current off-year, the RPB will dedicate itself to the exploration of new mediums, starting with ‘Snakes and Ladders’ – an animated gif project by Vika Eksta (Latvia), showing at ‘Asa Nisi Masa’ online gallery from 8 April to 16 June www.anmgallery.com. The project launch presentation on 8 April will be at the art-house cinema ‘Kino Bize’, and its offline version will be screened also at the ‘Splendid Palace’ and ‘K. Suns’ cinemas. Project curator is art critic Paola Paleari (Italy).
The Biennial’s education programme will present a discussion evening ‘Longing for a Border’, hosted at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art on 12 April and featuring international experts from different fields of art. With a focus on current trends in contemporary photography and new artists who continue to transform the complex identity of photography, this event will bring together the following experts: Baiba Tetere (Latvia), the researcher of visual culture and co-founder of ISSP (International Summer School of Photography); Laura Kuusk (Estonia), photographer and associate professor at the Photography Department, Estonian Academy of Arts; Gintare Krasuckaite (Lithuania), art critic, residency and gallery curator, Kaunas Photography Gallery; Adam Mazur (Poland), critic, curator and editor, ‘Szum Art Magazine’; Marina Noronha (Finland), curator, Helsinki International Artist Programme; Marianne Ager (Denmark), curator of photographic and cinematic art, Brandts Odense. The curator of discussion is Šelda Puķīte, art critic and curator; moderator – Kārlis Vērpe, visual culture researcher and philosopher.
In 2017, we can also expect a new publication by the Riga Photography Biennial – a collection of articles following the events of the off-year, as well as published essays by various art and cultural theoreticians representing a range of viewpoints on new trends in art. Among some of the authors featured in this publication are Polish contemporary photography researcher Adam Mazur (Poland); philosopher Kārlis Vērpe (Latvia); curator and contemporary art critic Paola Paleari (Italy); art historians Aiga Dzalbe (Latvia) and Lizete Riņķe (Denmark / Latvia), as well as the editor of ‘Punctum’ magazine Laura Brokāne (Latvia).
The Riga Photography Biennial is an international contemporary art festival focusing on photography as an arts practice and prioritising Europe as a region. With the arrival of the 21st century and the age of advancement in virtual technologies, art has also entered a new period: today post-internet art and photography / image are making a strong impression and expressing ideas and thinking characteristic of this time. How has our understanding of photography / image changed because of digitalisation and its presence in the works of art? This and similar questions will be addressed by the Riga Photography Biennial.
The first RPB was held in 2016 and became the first art biennial in the history of Latvia. The next biennial is scheduled to take place in 2018 and will include several events, such as numerous exhibitions in Riga and regions, a symposium, an urban environment project, portfolio reviews and the RPB Award ‘Seeking the latest in photography!’. Each biennial will have its own thematic focus, the context of which will determine its programme.
The Riga Photography Biennial is one of the founding members of the Association of Latvian Contemporary Art Festivals (ALCAF). The aim of Association is to promote contemporary culture in Latvia, create international collaboration networks, further Latvia’s profile in the international art scene, as well as partake in shaping a meaningful and prescient cultural policy.
The partners and supporters of the Riga Photography Biennial in 2017: State Culture Capital Foundation; French Institute in Latvia; Danish Cultural Institute; Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Riga; Estonian Embassy in Riga; Embassy of Finland; SIA ‘Lux Express Latvia’; SIA ‘Jelgavas Tipogrāfija’; ‘Rixwell Hotels’; AS ‘Antalis’; ‘DSV Transport’ SIA; online media artteritory.com and lsm.lv; ‘K.Suns’, ‘Kino Bize’ and ‘Splendid Palace’ cinemas; Latvian Museum of Photography; ‘Alma’ Gallery; Dailes Theatre and Art Space ‘Brīvības 75’, Latvian Centre For Contemporary Art, ‘Asa Nisi Masa’ online gallery.Publicity photo: Vika Eksta (Latvia), from series ‘Snakes and Ladders’ (2015-2017)