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“Latvian Landscape” at the Mark Rothko Art Centre

February 11, 2015

On Friday, 13 February at 16:00, the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils will host the opening of the photo exhibition “Latvian Landscape”, which the ABLV Charitable Foundation is supporting under the auspices of its programme “Support for Contemporary Art Exhibitions”.

This exhibition of photography has been arranged by a group of the most talented and internationally renowned contemporary Latvian photographers: Alnis Stakle, Arnis Balčus, Iveta Vaivode, Ilze Vanaga and Reinis Hofmanis. The photographic stories told by these five photographers outline a new paradigm in contemporary Latvian photography, which looks away from the conventionally beautiful, instead focusing on mundane, personal and seemingly insignificant aspects of the landscape. These photographers create critical and artistically challenging stories of the environment in which we live and invite viewers to take an introspective look at themselves and their surroundings.

Arnis Balčus participates in the exhibition with a series of works entitled “Beyond the Blue River”, which was created in the Latvian-Russian border district of Zilupe. Using photographs created in a documentary manner, archive materials and photos by unknown photographers, Balčus constructs tales comprising a photographic story, akin to a narrative, about this place.
Within the framework of his photographic story “Fire”, Reinis Hofmanis has photographed landscapes in which fire enjoys pride of place as an event that attracts crowds of onlookers.
Alnis Stakle’s photographic story “Theory of R” is a diary-like, partly documentary, partly fictitious story about Latvia’s capital city of Riga. The photographer turns his attention to ostensibly strange places, the oddballs he encounters and inexplicable combinations of objects, creating a personal visual theory of Riga.
In turn, Iveta Vaivode’s photographic story “Somewhere on the Disappearing Path” was inspired by the photographer’s return to the place where her family originates from: Pilcene in Latgale. Over several years, the artist got to know the local inhabitants and became part of the community, all the while photographically seeking the feeling of home and finding it in the women of her family and in the tranquil flow of rural life.
The exhibition will also showcase Ilze Vanaga’s picturesque photographic story “Home”. Vanaga’s seemingly simple works based on poetic codes do not lend themselves to easy interpretation, because they are at once biographical and yet also deeply concerned with a historically and mythically key element of the cultural landscape, one that is integral to the formation of the Latvian mentality; i.e. the seaside.

In connection with the exhibition, the “KultKom” Contemporary Culture Centre has also published a book, in which studies of Latvia’s contemporary landscape conducted by five scholars: Sergejs Kruks, Klāvs Sedlenieks, Kārlis Vērpe, Laine Kristberga and Ivars Austers are published alongside photographs by the five photographers.

Exhibition Curators: Arnis Balčus and Alnis Stakle.

Photo: Iveta Vaivode.

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