Riga Photography Biennial 2020 Central Event - Exhibition Screen Age II: Landscape

12.09.-18.10.2020.

From September 12 to October 18 this year, the exhibition hall “Riga Art Space” Great Hall will offer its visitors the opportunity to be a part of the central event of the Riga Photography Biennale – the international exhibition “Screen Age II: Landscape”, curated by Inga Brūvere and Marie Sjovold (NO) in cooperation with the Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council and Riga Art Space.

Continuing The Screen Age, the series of exhibitions launched in 2018, the central exhibition of the Riga Photography Biennale turns to landscape. The series is based on the desire to find how the attitudes of people living in the digital and post-human era may have changed vis-à-vis one another and toward themselves. The first exhibition The Screen Age I: Self-Portrait questioned our relationship to ourselves and, using instruments available only to art, observed and registered: 1) models for a conversation with and about oneself, alien to previously existing societies; 2) new, comfortable, freely available structures for creating the self-image. Observations fully confirmed the suspicion that over the last 20 years, society has acquired new outer characteristics, due to the fast inflow of technological discoveries into daily life, and has caused a change in habits, but the very essence of man, their ethos, as well as wants, desires and other stimuli to action remain the same as many centuries ago. On closer view, of course, one cannot but notice some rather self-contradictory nuances in the ambitions, self-understanding, and attitudes toward others of the currently active generations, the so-called baby boomers, generation X, millennials, and generation Z.

In the second part of Screen Age we are undertaking a similar analysis of the change in people’s relationship to the landscape, not just the beautiful, Hegelian view of nature common in art history since the 19 th century or the no less common land art from the second half of the 20 th century. A landscape in fact is like a mirror that reflects changes that have taken place over thousands of years. These have been effected both by natural processes and human activity, therefore it can be said that landscape, which is a popular genre of visual art even in the 21 st century, includes both representations of nature and the urban environment, and invisible cultural-historical structures with ill-concealed ambushes of national politics and economy.br>


Ecology, for its part, has become the ideological impetus of and justification for the representations of contemporary landscapes. This is nothing new – as early as 1970, Robert Smithson explained his famous “Spiral Jetty” in the Great Salt Lake in Utah, saying in part: “People always thought that nature is self-sufficient, and that it was going to continue. Now nature itself is threatened. The dinosaurs lived and died and ice ages have come and gone. (..) There is no going back to Paradise or 19th century landscape (..). The sentimental idea of the landscape as a "beauty spot" is directly out of that romantic preoccupation with the landscape. (..)A lot of the working outdoors is just escapism because things are so horrible. People want to get out in the fresh air (..). The view of the earth polluting itself out is a death fear.*


In the exhibition Screen Age II: Landscape, 10 artists share their reflections and conclusions: Richard Alexandersson (SE), Maren Dagny Juell (NO), Santa France (LV), Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson (NO), Kristina Ollek (EE) & Kert Viiart (EE), Tuomo Rainio (FI), Mārtiņš Ratniks (LV), Eva Stenram (SE) and Emilija Škarnulytė (LT).


*Robert Stmithson: The Collected Writings. University of California Press, 1996

Curators: Inga Brūvere (LV) and Marie Sjovold (NO)
Text by: Aiga Dzalbe (LV)
 
Supported by: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, Riga Art Space, Nordic Council of Minister’s Office in Latvia, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of the Republic of Estonia, Icelandic Art Center (IS), LG Electronics Latvia, Rixwell Hotel, Lux Express, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Hibnerstudio, Kokmuižas alus, Arterritory, Newspaper IR, LSM, Satori, Punctum, Literatūra ir menas (LT), Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA

The Riga Photography Biennial (RPB) is an international contemporary art event, focusing on the analysis of visual culture and artistic representation. The term ‘photography’ in the title of the biennial is used as an all-embracing concept encompassing a mixed range of artistic image-making practices that have continued to transform the lexicon of contemporary art in the 21 st century.


www.rpbiennial.com


Image: Tuomo Rainio. ‘Giverny (convolution)’, 2016

Riga Photography Biennial 2020 exhibition - 6 x 6 / 36

12.09.-18.10.2020.

From September 12 to October 18 this year, the central event of the Riga Photography Biennale 2020 “6x6/36” will take place at the exhibition hall “Riga Art Space” Intro Hall.

The 6 x 6 / 36 project materializes the work undertaken by the Nunc Collective (Clarisse Bardiot, Annick Bureaud, Jean-Luc Soret and Cyril Thomas) to explore new forms of digital publishing and new approaches to exhibitions. Each notebook features the work of six artists focusing on a common theme. The artworks, biographical notes, and excerpts from texts selected by the artists can be accessed online using the data matrix.

6 x 6 / 36 assumes that merging  and publication is possible. Much more than just being associated in some way, they fuse together in the form of notebooks that can be carried in a pocket or bag. It’s up to the reader to explore the artworks on offer, but also to use stickers to curate his or her own exhibition, which can then be shown in a private space (e.g. a living room or kitchen) or a public space (e.g. walls, advertising hoardings, public transport, etc). 6 x 6 / 36 provides an alternative to traditional museum codes, moving away from the system of the “white cube” and familiar methods of mediation. By creating alternative links between artwork, subject and object, 6 x 6 / 36 creates new ways of approaching the notions of exhibition, dissemination and reception.


Landscape
For this issue of 6 x 6 / 36, devoted to the landscape, are selected six artists — Joan Fontcuberta, Jodi (Joan Heemskerk & Dirk Paesmans), Catherine Rannou, Jodi Rose, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt) and Jeremy Wood — who explore and play with different definitions of the notion of landscape using a range of sometimes infinitesimal shifts and variations.


6 x 6 / 36 – Landscape focuses on the way technology, media and interfaces renew and broaden standard notions of landscape and the picturesque, creating a shift in the perceptions and position of the viewer.
Even if it continues to signify an area viewed by an observer and the visual representation of a particular place, the word ’landscape’ no longer refers to a single point of view, a particular location, or even a specific area of land. Now that there are so many perception interfaces and prosthetic devices available, the landscape can be diffracted, aggregating or hybridizing with many different elements. It becomes multifarious by integrating computerized data, mathematics, or changes of scale, allowing multiple points of view.

Curator: Jean-Luc Soret (Collectif Nunc)

Supported by: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, Riga Art Space, French Institute in Latvia, LG Electronics Latvia, Rixwell Hotel, Lux Express, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Hibnerstudio, Kokmuižas alus, Arterritory, Newspaper IR, LSM, Satori, Punctum, Literatūra ir menas (LT), Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA

The Riga Photography Biennial (RPB) is an international contemporary art event, focusing on the analysis of visual culture and artistic representation. The term ‘photography’ in the title of the biennial is used as an all-embracing concept encompassing a mixed range of artistic image-making practices that have continued to transform the lexicon of contemporary art in the 21 st century.


www.rpbiennial.com

Image:
1. Semiconductor, 20Hz, 2011;
2. Collectif Nunc, image from the project 6x6/36.

Riga Photography Biennial 2020. Discussion ‘Contemporary Culture Festivals & Urban Development’

24.09.2020. 18:00. The discussion has been moved to online format.

A dynamic and diverse culture is undoubtedly an indicator of a healthy urban environment and certain quality of life. And yet, creating and experiencing art is often still considered a bonus, failing to recognize the role of culture in the socio-economic development of a city. The discussion will focus particulary on city-based international arts and culture festivals.

What is the short-term and long-term significance of these festivals and the relevant organizations in the development of the city? It is easier to see in smaller cities like Cēsis, Kuldīga and Bauska, where festivals have benefited local entrepreneurs and municipalities and stimulated infrastructure development, adding new facets to the city’s image at home and abroad and thus facilitating the growth of tourism and even increases in population. The Latvian capital also hosts a number of festivals of contemporary art and culture, enriching the cultural life of the city and giving a new lease on life to neglected buildings and quarters, stimulating economic growth of certain services and businesses, and raising the profile of Riga globally. To what extent is this contribution and potential studied and considered in urban development strategies?

The discussion aims to highlight these questions in the context of the role and potential of contemporary cultural festivals in urban socio-economic growth and development of urban identity, focusing on the Latvian capital but also considering a comparatively wider perspective. The panel will include representatives of local governments and festivals from Riga, Cēsis, Estonia and Poland.

Language: English. The discussion has been moved to online format.

Riga Photography Biennial 2020 programme: www.rpbiennial.com 

Participants: Atis Egliņš-Eglītis (LV), Liene Jurgelāne (LV), Inga Lāce (LV), Kadri Lind (EE), Marta Michalak (PL), Guntars Ruskuls (LV)
Moderator: Jonas Büchel (DE/LV)
Curator: Elīna Ķempele (LV)
Organizer: Riga Photography Biennial
Image: Andrejs Strokins. From series ‘Cosmic Sadness’, 2014 – 2019

Partners and supporters: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, Exhibition hall ‘Riga Art Space’, Adam Mickiewicz Institute (PL), Embassy of the Republic of Estonia, Rixwell Hotel, Lux Express, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Arterritory, LSM, Satori, Punctum, Newspaper IR, Literatūra ir menas (LT), Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA