This year, the festival Riga Photomonth in will take place from May 23 to June 22 and its theme is “decadence”. Within the framework of the festival, exhibitions will be shown in 7 independent galleries in Riga, such as the Tu jau zini kur, M/Gallery, DOM Gallery, Smilga, etc., as well as the Decadence Music Festival with experimental, punk, noise Latvian bands will take place on May 26 and 27. Among the festival’s artists is an Estonian photographer Dmitri Gerasimov known for his surreal photographs for musician Tommy Cash, young Latvian star of dark erotic photography Anna Dzērve, German expressive painter Tobias Klein, Estonian artist Alexei Gordin who creates ironic works about the hypocrisy of the art world, and many other artists from Latvia and abroad.
Historically, the term ‘decadence’ was used to describe moral decay, but at the end of the 19th century, Western European artists called themselves decadents to express their critical views on the direction taken by Western society. The progress of the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of peasant citizens, had made life banal, comfortable, predictable, and decadents thought that the absurd, immoral art that challenges public values could save humanity. They believed that art should not serve mass taste, it should be freed from the existing conventions, rationalism and logic, it should be true, creative and sensual. Today, Western society is experiencing another ideological crisis. Covid, the war in Ukraine and other socio-political challenges also point to contradictions between the capitalist system and democratic values. While it seems to some people that art should help divert thoughts away from problems of these times, we are saying that it must become a mirror of society. We offer art that is direct, brutal, irrational, challenging, sarcastic, discouraging. And at this point, we invite you not only to give in to impulses and enjoyment, but also to reflect on what is happening to us and where we are going as a society.
Riga Photomonth 2022
May 23- June 22
Visual artists: Dmitri Dmitri Gerasimov, Tobias Klein, Envija, Elīna Semane, Lee Chapman, Roberts Brastiņš, Ieva Stalšene, Evija Ābrama, Alexei Gordin, Anna Dzērve, Linda Vilka etc.
Musicians: Veža, Stabs, Svēte, Uguns, Pauls Raimonds, Batra, +K+M+B etc.
Chief curator: Elīna Semane
Director: Arnis Balčus
More information: https://rigasfotomenesis.lv/programme/