Public = Private exhibition
The exhibition Public = Private features the work of French artists in which architecture is regarded and dealt with not so much realistically (the construction of buildings and cities) as it is symbolically (the designing of social and individual lives and ideas). These artists make the viewer contemplate how effectively architecture shapes our concepts of environment, culture and society. The artists’ work invites us to wander the urban landscape not as tourists who only collect views, and - unsuccessfully - try to take pictures of some significant façade or another (architectural photography is considered one of the most difficult genres in photography). Instead, it is more of a stroll into ourselves, into the space of our thoughts.
In contemporary photography, architecture is revealed in many layers, mainly as a witness to an era and one of the phenomena that shapes the structure of our lives. The philosopher Wolfgang Welsch turns our attention to the changes in the environment and our perception that have been brought about by our constant activity in the world of electronic media. Considering that reality, imagination and also memories are all constructions, it follows that a virtual, artificially constructed environment influences our daily world. And these changes are twofold. Firstly, a visualisation of our perception of reality takes place. Secondly, a renewed validation of our experience of reality takes place, an assigning of special value to materiality. “The fleeting nature of the mouse click teaches us to appreciate its opposite, a slow development that takes place according to its own rules. [..] Things that demand a special space, a special time – things that are not interchangeable but are instead unique – become important to us again,” writes Welsch in his book Grenzgänge der Ästhetik (Undoing Aesthetics).1
For this exhibition, which is taking place in the Art Space at Daile Theatre (an architectural monument of Latvian modernism designed by Marta Staņa), curator Inga Brūvere has invited four young artists from France who work conceptually with the urban environment. Each artist reveals his or her unique view of both contemporary photography and architecture.
Curator: Inga Brūvere (Latvia)
Participants: Guillaume Martial (France), Zachrie Gaudrillot-Roy (France), Morgane Denzler (France), Manon Recordon (France)
Organisers: Riga Photography Biennale in collaboration with French Institute in Latvia and Dailes Theatre
Image: Martial Guillaume, LE MODULOR, 2014
1Velšs V. Estētikas robežceļi. – Rīga, Laikmetīgās mākslas centrs, 2005. – 283. lpp.