On view from November 17 until January 12 at the ISSP Gallery, the solo exhibition Room No. 13 by the Latvian photographer Reinis Hofmanis will feature a collection of photographs taken over the span of several years exploring the visuality of various, mostly hidden spaces. The exhibition opening will take place on November 17 at 6pm.
Room No. 13 is the 13th solo exhibition by Reinis Hofmanis. The artist transforms the three–dimensional experience of technical spaces of industrial buildings, warehouses, rooms long abandoned, or, on the contrary, adapted for contemporary use, into visually pleasing two–dimensional images. Along with the muted aesthetics of the photographs, they also demonstrate an unmistakably temporal interaction between man and the environment: artefacts of sewers or electrical networks have now been incorporated in the dark basements of hundred–year–old buildings.
«When functional and aesthetic thinking meet, the space evolves over time and becomes adapted to new functions and new living standards. Layers of wires, pipes, insulation and ceiling fixtures are squeezed into spaces where they have never existed before. The architecture of the space and the placement of utility infrastructure may even seem absurd, but there is an internal logic and a unique aesthetic to it,» says Reinis Hofmanis about the context of the artworks.
In the images created by Reinis, utility infrastructure has become a unique metaphor for the relationship between man and the environment. However, these are not relationships that are formed on the basis of a personal and intimate experience, as in the case of our childhood homes, for example. On the contrary, it is difficult to imagine a pleasant physical or mental experience in the spaces captured by the photographer, although they reveal the human desire to adapt, improve, and, ultimately, give meaning to the space. Even if this understanding of meaning does not extend beyond painting walls lettuce–green.
The scenography and spatial solutions of the exhibition are created by artist Aleksejs Beļeckis. Curator — Iveta Gabaliņa. The exhibition Room No. 13 is supported by Riga City Council, the State Cultur Capital Foundation and glass manufacturer Groglass.
Reinis Hofmanis (1985) is an artist and photographer. He studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany, and obtained a master’s degree from the Visual Communication Department of the Art Academy of Latvia. The artist’s works are characterised by a socio–anthropological point of view, which manifests in an interest in typifying different groups of society, their behavioural patterns, and effect on the surrounding environment. Reinis received the main prize at Archifoto in 2012 and 2013, and 2nd place in the Architecture category of the Sony World Photography Awards. His works have been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Financial Times, Spiegel, Esquire, Bloomberg, Le Monde, The Globe and Mail, and The British Journal of Photography.
The exhibition is organised by the ISSP platform, which has been active in the field of contemporary photography for more than 15 years, developing an active photography environment in Latvia, educating the young generation of Latvian photographers, and promoting international exchange. Since the opening of the gallery space in Berga Bazārs in 2018, ISSP has become an important landmark on the cultural map of Riga as the only space dedicated to contemporary photography in Latvia.