NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Starting on 21 April, an international contemporary art event Riga Photography Biennial (RPB) will kick off at the Latvian capital's exhibition halls and urban environment. The main focus of this year's events program is the state of isolation and its various manifestations and effects.

In eight international exhibitions and an extensive program of educational events, biennial’s artists and curators invite viewers to explore the phenomenon of isolation from different angles and to re-learn reading information contained in an image.

“Over the last two years, living in isolation has become our new reality. In addition to the pandemic,it is also facilitated by the rapid development of technology – the state of isolation allows one to break away from everything and everywhere, creating a circle of friends and imaginative characters in a self-created environment.”

What does the state of isolation do to us, or vice versa – perhaps offer?

Inga Brūvere, the director and one of the curators of the Riga Photography Biennial explains the thematic topicality. “With the development of technology, photography has entered a new phase. And the understanding of photography – the image – has changed also. We need to re-learn how to read the information on an image,” she adds, explaining the biennial’s focus on the development of image coding.

The central exhibition of the RPB 2022 “Screen Age III: Still Life” in the exhibition hall Riga Art Space continues a series from 2018 that poses existentially pressing questions through observing the way technology is slowly changing people today. Opening on 22nd April and continuing through until 12th June, the group exhibition curated by Inga Brūvere (LV) and Marie Sjøvold (NO) allows for the fact that every genre of photography functions as a common element of digital culture as well as a part of a constant stream of data. Focusing on the interpretation of still life in the digital era, the exhibition will showcase the works of Marianne Bjørnmyr (NO), Johan Rosenmunthe (DK), Sara Skorgan Teigen (NO), Sigrid Viir (EE) and Cloe Jancis (EE), Charles Richardson (UK), Santa France (LV), Nico Krijno (ZA), Līga Spunde (LV), Krišs Salmanis (LV), Vilma Pimenoff (FI) and ask whether or not still life compositions are outdated. If not, what are they saying today? 

Sigrid Viir and Cloe Jancis, ‘In front of the mirror, on a day full of enthusiasm, you put your mask on too heavily, it bites your skin’, 2021

Sigrid Viir and Cloe Jancis, “In front of the mirror, on a day full of enthusiasm, you put your mask on too heavily, it bites your skin”, 2021

In parallel, Riga Art Space Intro hall will host a group show curated by Paulius Petraitis (LT) – with Katja Mater (NL) and Erin O’Keefe (US). “Measured Perspectives” will explore the ambivalence of spatial perception and underline the potential of a process-based approach in the context of today’s increasingly fast-paced and result-oriented work culture. The show will be available until 12th June giving the gallery space to  ‘ЛАВ = LOVE’, curated by Inga Brūvere and opening on 17th June. The exhibition will show three private photo collections owned by Andrejs Strokins, Irēna Bužinska, and the Bolderājas Grupa (LV). From today’s perspective, the images from their collections can be considered multi-layered material that is open to interpretation in the construction of a new cultural memory.

From the collection of Irēna Bužinska: Neue Photographische Gesellschaft, Germany. Silver bromide print, photomontage, colouring, gilding. Early 20th century

Other exhibition openings take place at the end of April and throughout May and June. “Utopias”, curated by Auguste Petre (LV) will exhibit works by artists such as Annemarija Gulbe (LV), Aksel Haagensen (EE), Hele (LV), Madara Kvēpa (LV) and Zanda Puče (LV). “The Photo Album – A Subjective Narrative” at the Latvian Museum of Photography will expose private photo albums made by Latvian photographers of the first half of the 20th century. Gallery “Look!” will host a solo exhibition of Latvian photographer Reinis Lismanis. “ISSP gallery” is to explore the exterior side of photography with artist Paulius Petraitis (LT) in his solo exhibition made in cooperation with Sam Margevicius (LT), and Gailė Griciūtė (LT). Kristīne Krauze-Slucka (LV) will exhibit her works in the Riga public transport stops from 6th to 19th June, encouraging city residents and guests to rethink their image literacy and explore the digital environment’s impact. The exhibition is curated by Anete Skuja (LV).

On the last day of April, Riga Photography Biennial 2022 hosts an international conference that expands the main theme of the biennial program with European photography experts looking at the phenomenon of photobooks in the 21st century and the state of their research in Eastern Europe. Musings on the state of such scholarship on the topic are led by reflections on the phenomenon of the photobook, which has been growing and flourishing for a quarter of a century now. The conference is curated by Adam Mazur (PL) and will host internationally renown photography experts such as Jan Babnik (SI), Indrek Grigor (EE/LV), Gábor Arion Kudász (HU), Moritz Neumüller (AT), Kateryna Radchenko (UA), Vilma Samulionyte (LT), Antonina Stebur (BY) and Pavel Vančát (CZ).

Paulius Petraitis, ‘Swimmer’, 2021

Paulius Petraitis, ‘Swimmer’, 2021

In addition, the biennial, taking place until 10 July, will host extensive discussions and talks and lectures on the topics covered, meetings and talks with artists, and workshops for kids and youth audiences.

Find out more on: