Concealed and ignored disclosure. Riga Photography Biennial program Next 2023 finds the new / Diena

The program of the Riga Photography Biennale has started in Riga Next 2023, which aims to highlight young artists and curators. Among them is Lithuanian photographer Ieva Baltadonīte with a photo series dedicated to Ukrainian refugees Uprooted. With this, she won laurels in the Baltic Young Artists Competition organized by the Riga Photography Biennale We are looking for the new in photography! – it discovers authors who demonstrate the power of image, original perspective and conceptual depth in their works. The winner gets the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the ISSP gallery. Ieva Baltadonīte’s exhibition will be on display there until June 29.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, I was living in Ireland. I felt helpless and worried, watching the war that was taking place so close to my homeland,” recalls Ieva Baltadonīte. During her artistic research, she has uncovered startling statistics about the largest civilian refugee crisis in Europe since World War II and the huge number of people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. “I felt the need to help in any way I could, not just by donating. As an artist, it was almost an obligation for me to talk about aspects of this war and the refugee crisis, especially when the topic is so close to me. It is related both to the collective memory of Lithuania and injuries not only due to the occupation experienced in the past, but also due to my own rather traumatic experience of displacement,” adds the photographer.

Gratitude is everything

Talking about the creation of her series, Ieva Baltadonīte reveals that it started last year as part of a project she implemented together with Kaunas Photography Gallery and mentor Jim Goldberg. Together with an international team of photographers, they have created a book H – The Notion of Humanist Photography and held an intensive workshop session held in the same building where it was located CulturEUkraine center in Kaunas. It was an open creative space for Ukrainian people who chose Kaunas as their temporary home.

The artist has met Alesya, a psychologist of this center, to whom she told about her desire to talk about the refugee crisis caused by the war, and received an invitation to participate in the classes that the psychologist conducted for Ukrainian women and teenage girls, to listen to their stories and as a result create a photo series about the trauma of refugees, the psychological effects of moving aspects and post-traumatic stress syndrome. “They appreciated the project and thanked me for solving these issues in my art. In fact, their gratitude was all I needed to know that I was doing the right thing,” emphasizes the photographer.

Migration culture

Ieva Baltadonīte is a graduate of the Bachelor of Photography program at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Now she has returned home after seventeen years in Ireland. “My journey in photography started early. I got my first camera at the age of eleven or twelve from my father, who was a wedding photographer and musician,” recalls the artist. Her initial excitement at being able to capture specific moments and tell stories has grown into a realization as a teenager that photography is what she wants to do. After that, Ieva Baltadonīte’s family moved to Ireland, where she finished school, left her parents and started studying photography at Salinogin College of Further Education in Dublin. “Photography is a means of expression and communication for me – it allows me to address people with similar experiences,” adds the artist, who still focuses on themes related to migration culture in her work. Eve’s current interests include the psychological consequences of migration, displacement trauma and identity. “I use photography both for personal expression and for promoting a critical dialogue with modern society – I invite viewers to engage in debates, bringing people’s experiences to the fore and revealing what is otherwise covered or ignored,” emphasizes the photographer.

The place embodies the experience

Programs of the Riga Photography Biennale Next 2023 and in the Latvian Art Academy curatorial specialization program competition The new curator! Latvian artist and curator Laima Daberta has won with her exhibition idea application Found time. Its realization will be on display in the art room until July 15 Pilot. The exposition of the group of four artists examines a tendency characteristic of human memories – the interpretation of places and perceptions in different ways, taking into account the individual’s past experience, feelings, thoughts at that moment, or the lack thereof.

“Thanks to my previous education in architecture and my studies in Portugal, I paid attention to field research and mental mapping, the subjectivity of perception, the importance of scale and the role of the individual in creating a common space. Questions arose about the connection between space and works of art, the relationship between man and place, time and space. The competition was a stimulus review them from the curator’s position. The place embodies experience, the time devoted to it and thoughts. Different experiences overlap, new points of view emerge,” says the author of the exhibition, who has participated in several exhibitions, projects and symposia and is currently studying curatorial specialization in Latvian Arts, about the concept of the exhibition. in the academy.

At the exhibition Found time you can see the works created by Laima Daberte herself, which are interwoven with the motif of sand. “Emptiness. Vastness. The majesty of nature and various coincidences. Thinking about the place of a person in different contexts and the scale of each individual’s vision, I look at my photos as a medium for broadcasting moods and feelings,” says the artist. Three more authors are represented in the exposition, whose works alternate with their world perception and point of view, which the curator has paid attention to for a long time. “Observation is directly characteristic of photography, but the works of Portuguese artist Teresa Faleiru are also contemplative. Various scales and interests are revealed in these observations,” describes Laima Dabert.

The landscape and processes have been changed as a result of human action captured in the analog photographs of Armand Andže. When studying the methods of historical photography, he uses their characteristic fragile and unstable materials. The plates of the captured landscapes change, and these changes also reflect the ambiguity of perception, an essential shaper of the future experience, says the curator. “On the other hand, Kristaps Freimanis notices details and nuances that are easily overlooked, highlights the value of coincidences and coincidences, discovers new worlds onto which the internal processes of their creators and receivers are projected, sees life in inanimate things,” says Laima Dabert.

Profession – curator

Programs of the Riga Photography Biennale Next 2023 and the Latvian Art Academy’s curator specialization program competition not only offers young domestic curators an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, but also aims to promote awareness of the curator’s contribution to the art ecosystem. The purpose of the award is to stimulate discussion about the role of the curator in contemporary art and culture – a creative personality and mediator who creates a successful dialogue with society, the organizers of the competition explain.

“A researcher and transmitter of experience, a connector, an inviter. The curator’s possible field of activity is wide. By cooperating with representatives of other industries, you can gain and create an unimaginably diverse experience,” according to the competition The new curator! winner Laima Dabert. She adds that in addition to her studies at the Latvian Art Academy, it was through this exhibition that she formed her impression of the importance and contribution of the participation of a curator, what are the responsibilities and tasks of a curator, what unexpected turns can happen and how truly diverse the view of this profession is. .


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