Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT 2021 first event – “Emerging Curator!” Award exhibition “To Fall in Love, Click Here” became open to public from May 8 at the Art Academy of Latvia’s experimental art space ‘Pilot’ and are still available until June 28.
The Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT in cooperation with the Curatorial specialization of the Art Academy of Latvia launched a new programme – a competition “Emerging Curator!” offering Latvia’s emerging curators the opportunity to show their abilities. The “Emerging Curator!” Award aims to help curators change the usual exhibition policy on a local level. With the help of this platform, the local becomes global, showcasing projects – important newcomers within cutting-edge narratives – in the international art environment. The competition also encourages discussion of the role of the curator in contemporary art and culture as a creative personality and mediator building a more successful dialogue with the public.
The NEXT 2021 “Emerging Curator!” Award was won by Tīna Pētersone with the exhibition “To Fall in Love, Click Here”. The exhibition artists Irēna Andrejeva, Krišjānis Elviks, Konstantīns Žukovs and Elizabete Ezergaile looks at how dating apps have influenced today’s culture of building romantic relationships. The commercialized love industry with a global turnover in the billions cultivates the idea of love as a product; specially developed algorithms help you choose from a wide range of potential partners to get the best ‘deal’. According to the latest research, the ‘dating supermarkets’ Tinder and Grindr have gained the greatest popularity in the online dating market, providing the opportunity to make new contact with a single touch, just like shopping online – fast, easy, efficient.
Konstantīns Žukovs examines the visibility of homosexual men in the public space, while Elizabete Ezergaile analyses the way in which technologically-mediated communication transforms relationship dynamics in real life. Irēna Andrejeva turns to the problematic question of male exhibitionism on the web, and Krišjānis Elviks draws our attention to the opposition between public and private, or behind-the-scenes life.
The following questions help shape the conceptual framework of the show: How has communication mediated by digital devices affected communication in real life? Have addictive dating apps made people indifferent to their initial purpose, namely, meeting people? And finally, has modern dating culture murdered romance?
The NEXT 2021 “Emerging Curator!” Award jury: curator, artist, critic and artistic director of PUBLICS Paul O’Neill, curator and critic Andris Brinkmanis, art historian Antra Priede, curator and art historian Maija Rudovska, and Inga Brūvere programme curator of the Riga Photography Biennial.
Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT focuses on young and promising artists from the Baltics, Nordic countries and Europe who are still in the early stages of their careers. By introducing young and promising artists, the programme offers visibility and provides a platform for artists to announce themselves to a wider context. The biennial’s Education Programme provides opportunities for artists as well as the general public to learn more about current trends in image culture, which is a subject not often covered by higher education institutions in Latvia.
Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT 2021 takes place from May to August in different art spaces of Riga and online platforms. More information www.rpbiennial.com
NEXT 2021 partners: NEXT 2021 friends and partners: State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, VV Foundation, Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council, Exhibition hall ‘Riga Art Space’, Art Academy of Latvia, Latvian Museum of Photography, ALMA Gallery, ISSP Gallery, Pilot. Experimental Art space, Riga Smallest Art Gallery, NoRoutine Books (LT), Nordic Council of Minister’s Office in Latvia, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Riga, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Hibnerstudio, Arterritory, Satori, LSM, Blok Magazine (PL), Punctum, Literatūra ir menas (LT), Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA.
Photography: Madara Gritāne