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Photography news in the Baltics


31.05.2022 – 18.06.2022, Prospekto Gallery, Vilnius

30.05.2022 – 23.06.2022, Vilnius Photography Gallery

At the beginning of June, it is possible to get acquainted with the works offered in two exhibitions simultaneously by the graduates of the Master’s programme Photography and Media Art having graduated from the Department of Photography, Animation and Media Art of the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA FAMM).

The students themselves say: “Somehow I can only think about melodies that no one actually needs but I can explain it like this – me too, I do not have words anymore, I look somewhere and the world looks at us, old news. One way or another, we (artists of these exhibitions) measure distances, permissible distances, too risky, distant, filling, whatever, you already got it, everything that blinds, excites, takes away your words, makes you invisible – all in all, illuminates the face and as if in Patti Smith’s song it says ‘the boy, the beast and the butterfly’ or as Leonard Cohen sings that ‘she takes you down to her place near the river and she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers’. I think that’s it, we don’t know neither her nor them, they’re strangers to us, perhaps it is an unsuccessful description because the words are decreasing and it is no longer possible to listen to anything, especially me.”

Edis Jurčys, Anxious Life

14.04.2022 – 29.06.2022, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

The exhibition Anxious Life by the Lithuanian photographer Edis Jurčys (U.S.) features a series of photographs titled The Power of Death and Life (2021). The exhibition is displayed at the Exhibition Hall (3rd floor) of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. The exhibition is curated by Danguolė Ruškienė.

The exhibition Anxious Life was created as a response to today’s world, which has been in the grips of the pandemic for the second year as well as in light of the catastrophes and social conflicts that the world is facing. The Power of Death and Life is about the dangers of indifference. The artist delves into the topic of climate change and the extreme climate changes observed in specific regions which lead to adverse consequences. His photographs depict California wildfires ravaging entire villages and towns, destroying livelihoods and killing people. According to Jurčys, his current works can be viewed as visual diaries, expressed by means of photography. Thus, this time he focuses on global topics rather than the local ones that he explored previously. They are particularly relevant today because they serve as a warning and signal about a threat that humanity is facing. These works will also be relevant for the future generations as they will preserve the traces of the past and serve as a historic reminder.

Jim Goldberg, Rich and Poor

19.05.2022 – 10.07.2022, Kaunas Photography Gallery

While portraying people in their living environment in San Francisco between 1977 and 1985, Jim Goldberg asked them to write a comment under the image taken by the photographer. This was a completely new method for creating photographic documents of the human condition and it had a profound and lasting impact on the development of photography.

The Rich and Poor series is about poverty, inequality and shared human experiences. In it, Goldberg gives equal rights to those he photographs from different walks of life. The portraits of the privileged wealthy, who at the time had access to representative photographs, are collated together with the underprivileged in this series. The opportunity for the subjects to speak about themselves in the first person and reveal how they perceive their situation and see themselves not only creates a visual artistic collaboration, but also offers a personal perspective for observers of the photographs. By incorporating the thoughts of the individuals portrayed into the work, their points of view are expressed, allowing us to subvert our notions of what a photograph can represent, depending not only on the photographer’s perspective. In collaborating with the subjects, these works are more difficult to manipulate than conventional documentary photographs, as the subjects themselves refer to their own states of mind. The exhibition is a part of the Kaunas 2022 programme.

Andrew Miksys, exhibition at MO Museum, Photo – D. Umbrasas, LRT

10.02.2022 – 14.08.2022, MO Musuem, Vilnius

This exhibition is a unique opportunity to critically reflect on the situation of the Romani in Lithuania and Europe from a historical, social, political and artistic perspective. For the first time the exhibition presents the latest photographs by artist Andrew Miksys from BAXT, a project that has been focused on documenting the lives of Romani people in Lithuania for the past 20 years.

An installation about the dismantling of the former Roma settlement in Kirtimai is being created especially for this exhibition. Also, visitors are able to learn more about Romani culture in an educational programme suitable for the whole family.

Read an interview with Andrew Miksys here.



The Pet Show

19.02.2022 – 12.06.2022, Fotografiska Tallinn

For artists, the often furry friends have not always been faithful companions. Throughout the history of art, pets are portrayed, often carrying different kinds of symbols. Status, power, loyalty or perhaps love and compassion. In contemporary photography, the image and use of pets is varied. From documentary photographs to arranged portraits, to thousands upon thousands of photographs and videos of the funniest, cutest and craziest pets on various social media platforms.

The Pet Show is a tribute to the pet and their presence in art and popular culture. With 25 artists, we put the pet on a pedestal and regard it from all possible perspectives: as companions, status symbols in the human world, friends and beloved family members or as works of art.

Cooper & Gorfer, Between these folded walls, Utopia

20.05.2022 – 18.09.2022, Fotografiska Tallinn

What are you holding on to? Where is your secret place of belonging? If you had to leave everything behind and start again – who would you be?

Humanitarian tragedies caused by wars and the pervasive effects of climate change are causing immeasurable waves of migration and suffering. They make us wonder, can we imagine a better world? Struck by the realisation that we are living in a loss of Utopia, Cooper & Gorfer work with young women in local communities whose lives have been shattered by forced migration. What are the dreams, identities and secret longings of these displaced women?

“The exhibition is based on the current political reality. Out of a deep interest in the human story, the artists have created a playful utopian theatre, reminding us that we are all caught up in an imaginary world of our own interpretations and images from our cultural background. The protagonists of the brightly coloured portraits are young women, portrayed as goddesses, whose lives and self-determination have been shattered,” the authors tell about the exhibiton.

Pixy Liao, Your gaze belongs to me

22.04.2022 – 14.08.2022, Fotografiska Tallinn

The stereotypical role of the Chinese woman as a wife and mother who selflessly cares for others has never been Liao’s ideal. The artist’s goal is to be an independent woman, defined not by classical norms but by something else – something unknown. Liao’s project was initiated by the reaction of her friends, who considered her lover, Moro, 5 years younger than the artist, too young for Liao. Moro became the woman’s muse, and the artist’s photographs began to portray the unusual dynamic between a man and a woman.

Carla Gannis, The Garden of Emoji Delights

22.04.2022 – 28.08.2022, Fotografiska Tallinn

Gannis’s work is a digital-age version of painter Hieronymus Bosch’s over 500-year-old masterpiece, the triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Whereas in Bosch’s time, people’s lives were given meaning by God, to whom they were accountable for their actions, in modern times this dimension has been replaced by a virtual one. While one artist seeks contact with a divine system on a certain level, another is connecting with an equally total system that reaches into the phones of us all. Bosch’s work contains conflict, humour, darkness and absurdity, all of which go hand in hand with being human, and Gannis’s compelling work, a critique of the times, shows that not much has changed.

Photo – Theo Efros

26.05.2022 – 4.09.2022, Jaani Almhouse Gallery in Tallinn

The Museum of Photography in cooperation with the Finnish Darkroom Association (FDA) and the Finnish Institute offers the joint exhibition of Estonian and Finnish analogue photography at the Jaani Almhouse Gallery in Tallinn. The event is also the starting point for the new theme year of the Museum of Photography, which this time is dedicated to analogue photography.

The aim of the Estonian-Finnish analogue photography exhibition is to highlight that the old technological photography methods are not yet dead, instead, they are successfully used in modern photography as a practice of visual self-expression. The analogue techniques featured in the exhibition include bromoil print, cyanotype, polaroid photography, pinhole as well as black and white photos developed from the negatives taken with the large-format field camera (24×30 cm), which in the final stage have been hand-coloured; classic silver gelatine prints, coloured photograms, photos on narrow and medium format colour film and chromogenic prints created from them; additionally, a project that combines analogue technique and modern 3D digital technology is also included.




23.05.2022 – 22.06.2022

The 2022 Photomonth is inspired by decadents from another century who believed that art should not serve the tastes of the masses, it should be freed from existing conventions, rationalism and logic, it should be true, creative and sensual. The programme of the festival invites not only to give in to impulses and enjoyment, but also to reflect on our values, moral norms, the role of the artist in this era and the path of development of Western society.

Explore direct, brutal, irrational, challenging, contiguous, inspiring art in solo exhibitions by Elīna Semane (LV), Ieva Stalšene (LV), Evija Ābrama (LV), Alexei Gordin (EST), Anna Dzērve (LV) and Linda Vilka (LV) as well as the main group exhibiton Decadence by Dmitri Gerasimov, Tobias Klein, Envija, Elīna Semane, Lee Chapman and Roberts Brastiņš. More info here.

Photo from the collection of Andrejs Strokins, ЛАВ 74-24

22.04.2022 – 10.07.2022

The Riga Photography Biennial 2022 programme explores the phenomenon of isolation from different angles. Alongside the main theme, the focus is also on the coding of the contemporary image. In an era in which different virtual technologies are developing, photography as an artistic medium has entered a new phase, and the understanding of photography – the image – has changed. We need to re-learn how to read the information contained in an image.

Although several events of the biennial are over, it is still possible to see exhibition The Photo Album – The Subjective Narrative at the Latvian Museum of Photography, as well as Paulius Petraitis’ solo exhibiton Surfaces at the ISSP Gallery. The exhibiton ЛАВ = LOVE will be opened on June 17 at the Riga Art Space.

Jānis Deinats, Times. So sweet
  • Jānis Deinats, Times. So sweet.

26.05.2022 – 09.07.2022, MuseumLV, Riga

The outstanding photographer Jānis Deinats has been taking photographs since 1989, and is known as a prominent portraitist who has never really had a portrait exhibition before. But it is finally happening. One of the rooms will be dedicated to the great actress of the National Theatre Elza Radziņa. In February this year, while searching through his archive for images for the exhibition, Deinats found a film taken in the early 1990s, which had broken emulsion during development. The images obtained from this film (which had been produced at the factory in Svema Shostka, Ukraine) were an extremely powerful surprise. Even more impressive was the fact that Elza Radziņa was born in 1917 into a family of World War I Latvian refugees in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

A separate room will display large-format (130x100m) images – excerpts from the author’s photo series Photographing at a Distance and Photographing. The series, made during the COVID-19 pandemic, bear witness to this time and its psychological typology, visually accentuating the effect of the rupture of social relations and the acutely felt sense of human smallness in the midst of a new, unknown, big world.

Under the skin, photo – Una Taal

08.06.2022 – 30.06.2022, ISSP School pop-up gallery at Elizabetes Street 87

Eleven young photographers – the ISSP School 2022 graduates – will present themselves at the exhibition Under the Skin: Agate Tūna, Aleksandra Juhņēviča, Kārlis Didrihsons, Kristīna Poršneva, Līva Stare, Līga Stibe, Līva Graudumniece, Matīss Veigurs, Valdis Putniņš, Una Taal and Toms Strazds.

Iveta Gabaliņa, curator of the exhibition, explains, “The ISSP School alumni exhibition Under the Skin explores the phenomenology of relationships in different contexts and techniques. Photography in this case serves as a transition from personal transformation to the universal, as a connecting element on the way to understanding who I am, where I come from, what relationships are at the core of my life and what is the subcutaneous scar that I am trying to heal over and over again. Due to Covid-19 over the last two years, the ISSP School was partly conducted online, making the learning process restrained and inward-looking for each participant. In February, however, the war in Ukraine, against the backdrop of these two global events, challenged the young artists to evaluate the artistic process they had already begun and its relevance to the current situation. Consequently, themes of loss and fear often appear in the students’ work, pointing to the emotionally fragile feeling we are forced to live in, when everything human seems to have lost its primordial meaning.”

Photo – Gvido Kajons, Latvian National Museum of Art collection
  • Latvian National Museum of Art, 12 photographers / 125 photographs / 10 series

From 19 February 2022, the new permanent exhibition 12 Photographers / 125 Photographs / 10 Series is open to the public in four small cabinets in the right wing of the 2nd floor of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1).

The exhibition consists of the Latvian National Museum of Art collection of photography. It includes works by 12 Latvian photographers – Gunārs Binde, Māra Brašmane, Uldis Briedis, Zenta Dzividzinska, Andrejs Grants, Gunārs Janaitis, Gvido Kajons, Valts Kleins, Sarmīte Kviesīte, Aivars Liepiņš, Inta Ruka, and Egons Spuris. The photo series made in the 1960s–1990s provides an overview of the process of development and transformation in Latvian photography during this period.

The 1960s in the life of photography in Latvia was a time imbued with enthusiasm and excitement. After World War II a broad network of photo clubs was taking shape throughout the world. These clubs were established and headed by photographers who wanted to develop photography as an autonomous form of art. Following these principles, Riga Photo Club was established in Latvia in 1962, and the majority of photographers of the 1960s-1970s were the members of this club.