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View from exhibition ‘Seeking the Latest in Photography!’ at the Riga Art Space, 2016. Photo: Krišjānis Drēviņš

OPEN CALL: Riga Photography Biennial 2018 Award 0

From 17 July until 15 September artists from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are invited to submit their work for the Riga Photography Biennial 2018 Award. The award ceremony and exhibition of finalists work will take place at the Riga Art Space in April 2018.

The Riga Photography Biennial (RPB) is an international contemporary art event, focusing on photography as an art practice, centering on Latvia, the Baltic and European region as its priority.  In 2018 it  will be part of event programme marking the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia.

The rapid development of modern technologies has necessitated a need to re-evaluate the meaning of photography and the message it proffers. Nowadays photography is everywhere. The traditional view of photography as an aesthetic and documentary tool has been appended with several new notions, thus bringing about the need to re-evaluate its altered content. How has our understanding of photography and its presence as a work of art changed over time?

The second Riga Photography Biennial will take place in Spring 2018. Its programme will consist of two main parts – several indoor and outdoor exhibitions in Riga, as well as in Liepāja, Cēsis and Daugavpils, the latter will also host the solo exhibition of Latvian documentary photographer Uldis Briedis at Mark Rothko Art Centre, which will be dedicated to the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia, and an education programme, which, in addition to discussions and artist presentations, will also include an interdisciplinary symposium and other events. Special attention will be given to emerging photographers by announcing the award – ‘Seeking the latest in photography!’.

The Riga Photography Biennial 2016 Award winners: Vika Eksta (Latvia), Andrejs Strokins (Latvia) and Alissa Nirgi (Estonia). NoRoutine Books (Lithuania) Award winner: Ieva Balode (Latvia). audience sympathy Award winner: Eva Rotčenkova (Latvia).

Vika Eksta, image from gif animation XURRERIA (from series Missing lives), 2016

The Riga Photography Biennial Awards 2018

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 Biennial is seeking the portfolios of the types of artists who stimulate discussion and offer diverse ideas. At the same time, we wish to provide an opportunity for young artists, who are beginning their creative searches in photography or a medium connected with it, so that they can announce themselves to a wider audience.

The competition is open to emerging artists and photographers from the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, aged 18 to 35 and in the early stages of their creative career.

The three finalists selected by the international jury, including the winner will have the opportunity to exhibit their works during the Biennale at the joint exhibition at the Riga Art Space’s Intro Hall. The portfolio of the winner of the Award will be published in the Biennial’s publication. Encouragement awards and special awards are planned as well. One of the awards will be made by NoRoutine Books founders Gytis Skudžinskas and Vilma Samulionyte (Lithuania) – the winner of this award will have a chance to publish a book of their photos.

Participants can enter completed work, as well ongoing projects, for the Award. The exhibition will open in April 2018 and run for one month.

Award jury

The competition will be judged by an international jury: critic, curator and editor-in-chief of Szum magazine Adam Mazur (Poland), editor-in-chief of art portal Arterritory  and director at culture project agency INDIE 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).

The Riga Photography Biennial 2018 is being organized by the Riga Photography Biennial society in collaboration with a number of Latvian and foreign institutions, including the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, the Latvia 100, the Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, the Exhibition hall Riga Art Space, NoRoutine Books (Lithuania) and Internet media un, as well as individuals representing Latvian and foreign culture.

The Riga Photography Biennial is one of the founding members of the Association of Latvian Contemporary Art Festivals (ALCAF). The aim of Association is to promote contemporary culture in Latvia, create international collaboration networks, further Latvia’s profile in the international art scene, as well as partake in shaping a meaningful and prescient cultural policy.