Photo reportage from the exhibition ‘In the Truth’ by Toms Harjo at Kim?

_STA6489_fotoAnsisStarksIn the Truth[1] tackles the narrative of a person’s relationship with religion in a vastly secular-minded world. A young person’s efforts of living according to the principles of the Bible and dealing with the fear of being alienated by parts of the society. The desire of preserving and maintaining spiritual and moral cleanness in dialogue with an emotional distance towards the majority of who are not in “the truth”. This is a search for equilibrium between doubts and vivacious conviction, between the self and the other, between solitude and belonging.

In the Truth is based on the artist’s life experience as a Jehovah’s Witnesses. His evocative series provides an opportunity to discuss the margins of art and our tolerance towards the other not just formally, but in the essence. The jury found, noted the artist’s insightful balance between portraiture, fashion and architecture, as well as the use of colour and compositional solutions.

Toms Harjo (b. 1996, Riga), graduated from ISSP two-year programme in contemporary photography. He currently works as a freelance photographer and video artist, developing both personal and commissioned projects. Harjo has participated in group exhibitions both in Latvia and internationally, for example, in Riga (Draught, 2017), Paris (JCE Biennale, 2017), and Lisbon (Parallel Intersection, 2017).

Open Kim? Call is an initiative started in 2016 in order to promote an early discovery of promising and talented artists and/or curators from Latvia. This initiative offers the best possible conditions and a working framework for the development and application of their creative ideas. Open Kim? Call 2018 applications were inspected the jury of Ēriks Apaļais (artist), Egija Inzule (curator), Maija Kurševa (artist, LMA Docent and Head of Gallery LOW), Zane Onckule (Kim? Programme Director 2010-2017) and Vilnis Vējš (art critic).

In the Truth
Toms Harjo
The winner of the Open Kim? Call 2018

2018 02 15 – 2018 04 01

Kim? Contemporary Art Centre
Sporta iela 2 k-1, LV-1013, Rīga

Photography: Ansis Starks

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[1] The locative noun “in the truth” among Jehovah’s Witnesses colloquially represents an intangible space owned by the members of the faith. For example, the question “is she in the truth” means – “is she a Jehovah’s Witness?”

Echo Gone Wrong
March 18, 2018
Published in Photo / Video from Latvia
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