Riga Photomonth 2022 will begin next week, on May 23. This year, it will offer an art and music programme that, according to the organisers of the event, will be «direct, brutal, irrational, challenging, sarcastic, and inspiring», believing that such art can help save humanity from destruction.
Riga Photomonth 2022 is inspired by the decadents of past centuries who believed that art should not serve the tastes of the masses. Instead, it should be freed from existing conventions, rationalism, and logic, and 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 day and age, and the direction of the development of Western society.
Riga Photomonth will take place at galleries that operate outside of the institutional environment. The festival will begin on May 23, at 19.00 with the opening of the exhibition Mic Drop by artist Elīna Semane at the cultural site Masa at Alauksta Street 7a. The author of the exhibition, who is also the curator of this year’s festival, uses references to Friedrich Nietzsche’s critical view of the distinction between good and evil, calling for a reassessment of generally accepted values and moral norms.
On May 24, at 18.00, artist Ieva Stalšene’s solo exhibition Innocence will open at the Dom gallery at Ģertrūdes Street 115. Later, at 20.00 in the bar and bookstore Bolderāja at Avotu Street 29, an exhibition of Evija Ābrama’s paintings, Live Poop Die, will open. The show asks the question «what is shitty art?».
On May 25, Estonian artist Alexei Gordin’s solo exhibition I Sold Two Paintings, But It Didn’t Make Me Happier will open at the cultural space Smilga at E. Smiļģa Street 34a. In the show, Gordin talks about the artist’s moral challenges in the face of commercialisation, hypocrisy, and inequality in the art world.
The exhibition Red Velvet of erotic photographs by the young photographer Anna Dzērve will open at M/Gallery at Briāna Street 9 on May 26 at 17.30. On the same day, at 19.00, group exhibition Decadence will open at the exhibition hall of the cultural venue Tu Jau Zini Kur at the Tallinas Street Quarter. The show will include works by artist Dmitri Gerasimov (Estonia), who is known for creating surreal visual images featuring musician Tommy Cash, expressive painter Tobias Klein (Germany), as well as controversial Latvian artists Envija, Elīna Semane, Lee Chapman, Roberts Brastiņš, and Ieva Stalšene.
On May 27, at 18.00, it will be possible to visit the apartment of artist Linda Vilka at Riga’s Highest Gallery, where the exhibition Crumb Revolutions, Yesterday’s Resolutions will take place. The gallery is located near the intersection of Strēlnieku Street and Alberta Street — to find out the exact location, visitors must call +371 26134558 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Decadence Music Festival will take place at the Tu Jau Zini Kur concert hall (Tallinas Street Quarter) from May 26 to 27, with the participation of Latvian experimental, metal, punk and noise music bands such as Tesa, Batra, Svēte, Uguns, Pauls Raimonds, +K+M+B, and others.
The exhibitions of the Riga Photomonth will remain open until June 22 when closing events are also planned. Admission to the events is free. Full programme and more information about the events — on the festival’s website.