Manifestations of (In)Activism in the Latest Baltic Art

ISSP telpa, Berga Bazārs, Marijas iela 13 k. 3, Rīga

Simpozijs "(Ne)Aktīvisma manifestācijas Baltijas jaunākajā mākslā"

Laikmetīgā māksla neapšaubāmi ir ne vien sava laika vērtību, pārmaiņu un konfliktu spogulis, bet arī transformāciju rosinātāja. Taču stratēģiski mērķtiecīgs aktīvisms mākslā Baltijā arvien bijis drīzāk retums. Piemēram, politiski orientēta, "aktīva" māksla tā sauktajās Rietumvalstīs gan 20. gs., gan mūsdienās ir nesalīdzināmi klātesošāka un drosmīgāka nekā Baltijā, kur par konsekventām aktīvisma tradīcijām gan sabiedrībā kopumā, gan – likumsakarīgi – arī mākslā runāt ir grūti. Tomēr arī šeit māksla sevi ir apliecinājusi kā platformu sociālpolitisku jautājumu aktualizēšanai, pieļaujot tādu atklātības un izaicinājuma līmeni, kas citos kontekstos mūsu kultūrtelpā ir reti sastopams un nereti arī nepieņemams. 

Simpozija mērķis ir aktualizēt un vismaz daļēji apzināt politiskā un sociālā aktīvisma esamību/neesamību, aktuālos problēmjautājumus un izpausmju īpatnības Baltijas jauno mākslinieku radošajās praksēs, kā arī kuratoru un mākslas organizāciju darbībā, īpaši pievēršoties fotogrāfijai. Lai arī simpozija centrālais fokuss ir Baltijas valstis, kontekstuāli plašākam skatījumam un iespējai iepazīt citu kultūrtelpu aktuālās norises, simpozijā piedalās arī Baltijas jūras reģiona kaimiņu – Polijas un Vācijas – pārstāvji.


Contemporary art not only mirrors the values, transformations and conflicts of its time, but also encourages and fosters change. And yet, in many parts of the world, including the Baltics, strategic and purposeful social activism in art is rather rare. In the twentieth century, as in our current moment, politically oriented art has been much more common in so-called Western countries than in the Baltics, where it is difficult to talk about consistent traditions of activism in society in general, let alone in art. But still, even here, art has proven itself as a platform for raising awareness of socio-political issues, allowing greater degrees of openness and challenging power structures in ways that are rarely seen (and are often unacceptable) in other contexts within our cultural space.

The purpose of this symposium is to explore the existence (or absence) of political and social activism in Baltic contemporary art, to pay attention to any peculiarities of its manifestation, and to identify any issues that are currently being addressed, focusing particularly on the youngest generation of Baltic artists and on the use of photography and image. Although the symposium is focused on the Baltic States, in order to gain a wider sense of context and to take advantage of an opportunity to get acquainted with current developments in neighbouring cultural spaces, representatives from fellow Baltic Sea countries – namely, Poland and Germany – will also take part in the symposium.

Programma / Programme:

11.20 Atklāšana/ Opening
11.30 Airi Triisberg - Making Art Politically: Case Studies from the Baltics
12.00 Kaisa Maasik - Your Love Hurts. Interference and Non-interference
12.20 Jana Kukaine - Out of Date, Out of Place: (Mis)interpretations of Feminist Curating 
12.40 Mētra Saberova - Art and Social Activism: Scale, Impact and Getting out of Bed
13.00 Šarūnas Kvietkus - Conflicting Values in Contemporary Global Migration
13.30 Dalia Mikonyte - Archive of Activism 1993-2013 and Now

14.00 - 15.00 Pusdienu pārtraukums/ Lunch Break

15.00 Pauline Doutreluingne - Curatorial Activism for Tentacular Imaginaries
15.30 Claudia Bühler - Talking About an Explosive Theme
15.50 Rafal Milach - Civic Resistance
16.10 Yulia Krivich - Fluid Identity (and how to deal with it)
16.30 Noslēguma saruna/ Closing Discussion

Kuratore / Curator: Elīna Ķempele (LV)

Organizē: Rīgas Fotogrāfijas biennāle sadarbībā ar ISSP, Ziemeļvalstu Ministru padomes biroju Latvijā, Adama Mickeviča Institūtu, Gētes institūtu Rīgā un Igaunijas vēstniecību Rīgā / Organizer: Riga Photography Biennial in cooperation with ISSP, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Goethe-Institut Riga and Embassy of Estonia in Riga.

Ieeja bez maksas, pasākums norisināsies angļu valodā/ Language: English, free entrance.

Attēls / Image: Mētra Saberova. “Pimpin' Yo Mama Crib”. 2017. (Skats no performances. Foto: Valdis Jansons/ View from the performance. Photo: Valdis Jansons)

Vairāk / More info

ISSP 2009 gallery online!

Hallelujah! After a couple weeks of struggle with technicalities, the Gallery of ISSP 2009 final works is available online - see here !

If you still notice any small mistakes, please contact us!

ISSP Club evenings to start from September

We have launched a new activity - a series of ISSP club meetings in Riga! The club evenings will take place with an approximate regularity of every second week. In the programme: ISSP participants’ presentation of completed or ongoing projects, invited artists’ talks, and a special selection of photography-related movies. The main motivation is to keep up the contacts and networking among the ISSP participants.
All ISSP friends are welcome! Information on upcoming events - in your mailboxes, or at ISSP Facebook group.

Ps. Thanks to Jānis & Red Roofs Hotel for location support!

ISSP evening programme

ISSP 2009 is officially launched by now! :) The evening programme Sunday - Wednesday, as well as the Gala Event and the Opening of the Exhibition on Saturday 8 August is open for guests and visitors!

ISSP 2009 participants selected!

The ISSP Selection committee has completed its work evaluating 2009 applications. It was a hard task to select the best 50 (52!) out of 108 - and we did receive more quality applications than we could accept…

Congratulations to the chosen ones! ;) We are looking forward to hearing your participation confirmations soon. And, yes, over ten applicants are currently in the waiting list, in case any places free up.

We also want to thank everyone who applied this year - we really appreciate the interest and hope you try again next year. All of the applicants will very soon receive emails informing of the status.

2009 application process completed

Hey hey! The admission of applications for ISSP 2009 has been completed yesterday - we have received over 100 applications, from over 20 (!) countries. Thanks to all of you for your interest!

The selected participants shall be announced on this site in the beginning of June. We will also inform all the applicants by email.

Till very soon! :)

Vanessa Winship to teach ISSP Workshop nr.5

Good news - the teacher for Workshop nr.5 of ISSP 2009 is finally confirmed! Vanessa Winship (UK) will be giving a workshop on Environmental portrait. Vanessa is a double winner of World Press Photo Competition (1998 and 2008) and a Photographer of the Year 2008 of SONY World Photography Awards. We are very happy for this solution and grateful to SONY for special support. See for more on the latest addition to ISSP 2009 teachers’ group.

Ps. Applications to ISSP still open until 17 May 2009!

NB! New ISSP 2009 application deadline - 17 May

Dear all! The term for submitting ISSP Applications has been prolonged till 17 May 2009!
We apologise for the delay with 5th workshop announcement, and hope to have the information on the web-site by the end of this week.

Looking forward to receiving your applications!!

Applications to ISSP 2009 now open!

Hey hey! We are glad to announce that the application process for the 4th International Summer School of Photography (ISSP) is now open.ISSP 2009 will take place in Ludza, Latvia from 1 to 9 August 2009.

ISSP 2008 videos!

And here it comes (finally!!) Some visual impressions on the International Summer School of Photography 2008 by Arno Geens (a special ISSP correspondent and Jos World representative):

And our classics - documentation of ISSP Final Exibition installation and opening in Ludza on August 9, 2008 - by Ģirts Raģelis (ISSP 2006 and 2008 participant):

Pre-announcement: ISSP 2009

Sunny hallo to everyone!!

Now for sure, the ISSP 2009 shall take place on 1-9 August 2009 at the same location in Ludza.

Information on this year’s workshops and teachers, and the application forms shall appear on the updated web-site very soon - on 1st week of April. The deadline for participants applications will be 1st week of May.

Stay tuned! And happy spring coming