Within the framework of the Riga Photography Biennial 2018, the Riga Photography Biennial Award 2018 exhibition Seeking the Latest in Photography! will be on view in Riga Art Space.
The goal of the Seeking the Latest in Photography award is to discover and appraise the creative efforts of young artists, who show the power of the image in their works, offering an original point of view and conceptual depth, suited to the times. The Riga Photography Biennial Award 2018 Seeking the Latest in Photography has been awarded to Diāna Tamane (Latvia), Taavi Suisalu (Estonia) and Kristīne Madjare (Latvia). The special prize from NoRoutine Books’ (Lithuania) – an opportunity to publish own photography book - has been awarded to Madara Gritāne (Latvia).
Diana Tamane Blood pressure, 2016
“Often I am interested in what is broken or not functional, quiet tensions in the communication between people. I use daily events and inner conflicts as a tool to reflect on contemporary life. "Blood pressure" is the collection of images I found in my great-grandmother's family album. Every day until her death she measured her heart beat and blood pressure and wrote it down in a notebook. When she couln't find the notebook, she wrote it down on what was near at hand. Apparently this everyday ritual was more important for her than photographs – her memories.”
“The artist is using found images made by her grandmother. It is characteristic to her practice to use family photos as a way of exploring her own identity. I also like the fact the artist is not producing new photos but is helping us to focus on and reinterpret already existing visual archives, on this occasion - very personal archives of her family.” (Valentinas Klimašauskas)
Taavi Suisalu Distant Self-Portrait, 2016
„The series is an archive of cosmic field-recordings and distant photographs which have been collected from the outer layers of technological sphere. These signals have been recorded by the artist from a dozen satellites in orbit which have due to malfunctioning exhausted their practical or scientific value and therefore have been turned off. Due to favorable glitches in their systems these machines have sprung back to operational mode broadcasting information of an unpredictable and improvised nature. Satellites were initially launched for political and military use but have since also become devices for scientific, communication and leisure purposes becoming part of our extended neural networks and altering our perception of space, time and landscape. These devices can be seen as lonesome galactic cowboys playing the cosmic blues but also as utopian feats of technology and structures of power that resist gravity by freefalling for decades. In this series landscapes and portraits are interwoven. The landscape becomes a self-portrait, a distant selfie, a cosmic reflection which holds the photographer and the portrait of himself as the smallest unit of an image centered on the photograph.”
“As the competition is very photography-centred in its traditional sense, Suisalu’s project stands out for the use of multimedia. I am a bit tired of surveillance cameras and other methods of making you feel ‘aware of the space’, but Suisalu has raised the narcissistic self-reflection complex to a new level by combining it with our tendency to humanize machines. His work features retired satellites orbiting the earth and painting, since there is nothing else left for them to do. The work has a very mesmerizing visual effect.” (Indrek Grigor)
Kristīne Madjare Retreat, 2015 – ongoing
„I took the photos at a Christian commune for people suffering from addiction. Enormous despair and pain brings these people to this place of retreat where they can heal. People have to break their old habits and, in a state of exhaustion, change their thinking through prayers, work and fellowship in the hope of renewing themselves. Series of photographs are about the border between pain and healing where people have to break their sense of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. Through photography I want to explore pain in the body and mind, how we see our pain and how others, how it affects us and if it can become ours.”
“This project is like a quiet, visual poetry. A powerful series of carefully composed images depicting people who have reached an important turning point in their life – they have decided to fight their addiction. “Retreat” is a courageous project, both - for the person behind the lens and its subjects. Madjare succeeds in portraying vulnerable people and their everyday life without exposing them. You get a clear impression that there is a sense of trust between the photographer and the people she works with. Madjare invites us into a place unknown to many and raises important timeless questions through her beautiful, unsentimental images of human struggle, pain, dignity and hope.” (Marianne Ager)
Award jury: critic, curator and editor-in-chief of Szum magazine Adam Mazur (Poland), editor-in-chief of art portal Arterritory and director at INDIE Culture Project Agency Daiga Rudzāte (Latvia), curator and deputy editor of YET magazine Paola Paleari (Italy), artist Ieva Epnere (Latvia), curator and kim? Contemporary Art Centre programme director Valentinas Klimaśauskas (Lithuania), curator, critic and gallery manager at Tartu Art House Indrek Grigor (Estonia), Brandts Museum of Art and Visual Culture in Odense curator Marianne Ager (Denmark), visual arts researcher and co-founder of the ISSP association Baiba Tetere (Latvia)
Riga Photography Biennial, an international contemporary art event, will take place from 5 April in Riga, Liepāja, Cēsis, Daugavpils and Tartu (Estonia) as part of a wider programme celebrating the centenary of the Republic of Latvia, offering a varied programme of exhibitions, performances, symposium, discussions and masterclasses.
The theme of this year’s Biennial is self-awareness – who we are and who we chose to become in times when social, political and cultural dynamics afford us continuous and new transformation opportunities. The title of the Biennial ‘I Like Your Face’ using face as a metaphor highlights the complex processes involved in the formation of identity and meaning.
Many thanks to exhibition supporters and partners: State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Riga City Council, Education, Culture and Sports Department of Riga City Council, LG Electronics Latvia, Hibnerstudio, NoRoutine Books, Estonian Embassy in Latvia, Rixwell Hotel Konventa Sēta, Lux Express, Valmiermuiža Brewery, Gardu muti drinks, DSV - Global Transport and Logistics, AS “Antalis”, arterritory.com and lsm.lv, Latvijas Radio 1, Radio NABA, magazine Ir, Punctum, Satori.
Participants: Diāna Tamane (LV), Taavi Suisalu (EE), Kristīne Madjare (LV)
Curator: Inga Brūvere (LV)
Image: Diāna Tamane. From the series Blood pressure, 2016
For information regarding event accessibility for people with disabilities contact the event organiser.