This week marks the beginning of Riga Photomonth, an international festival of photography, that will take place in Riga until May 31. The festival will offer six exhibitions, lectures, artist talks, film screenings and discussions on contemporary Northern and Eastern European photography.
«During this year’s Riga Photomonth we want to offer a slightly different perspective on our collective past, everyday rituals and identity. Despite the complex and burdensome socio–political or personal contexts that appear in the work of the artists, their viewpoints are not just in–depth and reflexive, but also ironic, playful, witty and unusual,» festival director Arnis Balčus introduces the theme of the festival.
The festival’s central exhibition «Facts and Clarifications», featuring artists Peter Puklus (Hungary), Lucia Nimcova (Slovakia), Pavel Maria Smejkal (Slovakia) and Roman Korovin (Latvia) will be unveiled on May 10 in the Exhibition Hall of the National Library of Latvia. In their work, the selected artists construct new critical views on values canonised by Western media, rake an ironic look at the mundane and seemingly unimportant, and create contemporary tales on the links between the past and the present. A guided tour by curators Arnis Balčus and Alnis Stakle will take place on May 11 at 15.00.
From May 11 to 14 the K.K. fon Stricka Villa will be home to Self Publish Riga, an extensive exhibition and series of talks on photobooks and self–publishing in photography and visual art, organised by ISSP. On May 13, the whole day will be devoted to talks by industry experts on photobooks and their creation. Participants include Swedish artists Klara Källström and Thobias Fäldt, Agnieszka Rayss from Polish collective «Sputnik Photos», Donald Weber (Canada), Peter Puklus, Marina Paulenka (Croatia), Tom Mrazauskas («Brave Books», Lithuania/Germany) and Michal Iwanowski (UK). For the first time, Self Publish Riga is offering an educational programme for children and young people — tours, workshops and activities for the smallest exhibition visitors.
The festival opening week will also see the opening of an exhibition by Wiktoria Wojciechowska at the Latvian Museum of Photography, the opening of Ilze Vanaga’s exhibition at the Kaņepes Culture Centre, and the launch of the publication «Latvian Photography 2017» by FK, a magazine dedicated to photography. A public final will also determine the best emerging Latvian photographer. There will also be a projection of shortlisted works from the festival’s open call under the theme «Facts and Clarifications» at the backyard of K. K. fon Stricka Villa.
Riga Photomonth has taken place since 2014 and is organised by the Riga Photomonth association, ISSP and FK Magazine in collaboration with the Latvian Museum of Photography, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, the Riga Film Museum and the National Library of Latvia.
The events of the festival will continue until the end of May. More information on the events, venues and the full festival program is available on the homepage of Riga Photomonth.