Photo Club Riga
21.6. – 2.7.
opening: 18.6., 4–7 pm
The unique “aura” of the Photo Club Riga
The photographic art of the Photo Club Riga is not about looking, it is about seeing and the pleasure found in simple things of everyday life. The most recent and ambiguous works by members of the Photo Club Riga ask the viewer to stop and consider the latter. From the late 60s, the Photo Club Riga art brings a specific type ofaesthetic statement and representation of reality; a romantic style encompassing a limited set of pleasant subjects photographed according to long practiced formulas for framing, composition, lighting, focus and tone. Ignoring the aspects of consumerism and mass production, the club members legitimise and validate their photographic practices through Dutch painting of the 17th century. Highly appreciated are, for example, compositions of flowers, fish, fruit and vegetables.
Although still life could be sometimes considered the lowest rung of the hierarchy of genres in art, it can nevertheless show us the beauty of nature, symbols of religion, politics, wealth, consumption and mortality. What nowadays constitutes a good photography is clearly defined by Photo Club Riga and the debate about the inclusion of photography among the arts is redundant. As viewers, we are left to consider the question how “still life” photography will continue to find its worth and purpose in the future.
Ivars Gravlejs, curator of the show
The exhibition “Still life” is a continuation of the project „Between photographer and (non) photographer“ with the intention to test and manipulate the artistic value of photography in different contexts and cultural environments. The first exhibition “Color photography” by Czech photographers Lukáš Jasanský & Martin Polák was held in 2015 at VEF Culture Palace (in Photo Club Riga showroom) in Riga. Artistic quality of exhibited work was mostly neglected by local art-scene in Latvia. Hopefully, photographs by Photo Club Riga will be highly appreciated at the SVIT Gallery in Prague.