RIGA - The Riga Photography Biennial’s and ISSP Gallery’s Award for the competition ‘Seeking the Latest in Photography!’ has been presented to Annija Muižule (Latvia) for her series ‘Joyful Businessmen Throwing Papers and Having Fun in the Office’. The special prize – opportunity to publish a photography book with the NoRoutine Books publishing house was presented to Reinis Lismanis and his series ‘Trial and Error’. The winning series by Annija Muižule will be exhibited during her solo exhibition at the ISSP Gallery as part of the Riga Photography Biennial’s Off-year Programme 2019. The exhibition will launch on 4 April 2019.
This is the third year the Riga Photography Biennial’s Award for young Baltic photographers has been presented. The goal of the award is to discover and appraise the creative efforts of young artists who demonstrate the power of the image in their works, offering an original point of view and conceptual depth, suited to the times. The Biennial is seeking the portfolios of artists who stimulate discussion and offer diverse ideas. At the same time, we wish to provide a public platform for young artists at the beginning of their creative journey in photography or a medium associated with it, so that they can present themselves to a wider audience.
The Riga Photography Biennial received 53 applications from photographers from the three Baltic States. 15 artists were selected during the first round. The jury nominated 10 finalists who will be invited to participate free of charge in the Riga Photography Biennial’s Off-year Programme 2019 Portfolio Review: from Estonia – Aap Tepper, Mari-Leen Kiipli, Hedi Jaansoo; from Lithuania – Vytautas Kumza, Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte; from Latvia – Reinis Lismanis, Annija Muižule, Georgs Avetisjans, Paula Jansone and Annemarija Gulbe.
The award was presented by an internationally renowned jury - Michael Biedowicz (DE), photo editor and owner of Pavlov’s Dog Gallery; Iveta Gabaliņa (LV), programme director of the ISSP Gallery; Jonatan Habib Engqvist (SE), curator and writer; Sten Ojave (EE), curator at Center For Contemporary Arts, Estonia; Paul Paper (LT), artist and curator; Daiga Rudzāte (LV), editor-in-chief of ‘Arterritory’ culture portal and director of INDIE culture project agency; Amelie Schuele (DE), exhibition manager Unseen; Mitch Speed (CA/DE), artist and art critic; Diāna Tamane (LV), artist and RPB Award winner 2018.
The jury commented on the award-winning series ‘Joyful Businessmen Throwing Papers and Having Fun in the Office’: “Annija Muižule presents a humorous and critical analysis of contemporary photography, where the artist researches the commodification of images and interplays between images and words. This is done through a conceptually clear and remarkably simple gesture of looking at how emotions are expressed through stock images, as well as the indexical signs provided by jpg names. By focusing on the interaction between suppliers and our expectations, her work acts as an inquiry into the role of contemporary photography. It is a pertinent observation of how these images not only represent but also create the way we understand the world.”
The Riga Photography Biennial 2016 Award winners were Vika Eksta (LV), Andrejs Strokins (LV) and Alissa Nirgi (EE). In 2018 - Diāna Tamane (LV), Taavi Suisalu (EE) and Kristīne Madjare (LV). NoRoutine Books award winners were Ieva Balode (LV) in 2016 and Madara Gritāne (LV) in 2018.