Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT 2021. Anja Carr's solo exhibition ‘Feedings’


Until December 22, the closing exhibition of the Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT 2021, the solo exhibition of Norwegian artist Anja Carr ‘Feedings’, will be on display at the Intro Hall of the exhibition hall Riga Art Space. As part of the exhibition, there will be an opportunity to meet the artist on the Facebook platforms of Riga Photography Biennial and Riga Art Space at 18:30 on December 9. This meeting will be conducted in English.

One of Anja Carr's main artistic interests are the endless image feeds that surround us and even flow through our pockets – namely through the smartphones that are always at hand. This greedy consumption of images has prompted the artist to reflect on this phenomenon – the flow of images as one of the most pronounced signs of our time – on several occasions, from various points of view and in various visual media. In Riga, two unrelated but complementary series of works are on view.

The Moments photography series was created over a longer period of time – from 2013 to 2017, and this is the first time it is exhibited together. Each of the fifteen images documents a single moment from fifteen performances in which the artist has wittily challenged the toy industry by transforming its colourful characters. She is aware of the impossibility of documenting a performance with a single image, but reminds us that this is how processes of identity construction work in social networks; through fragmented “feeds” of images. The stereotypes within the toy industry involving a strict division of roles between children and adults, girls and boys are twisted in these performances, featuring costumes and scenography created by the artist herself.

The second series continues the theme of digital image over-consumption. Its title is a tongue twister: imaginary posing as object of posing imaginary posing as object (2018), indicating the confusion caused by only experiencing other people through the internet, and also referencing the way the works were made. Anja Carr invited six colleagues to her studio to pose for her as an object – a knot – and, to create a closer connection, the resulting images were hand-sewn together like a knot. The result is six wall-sculptures. In addition to the above, the convoluted name of the series also signals the impossibility of translating photography into three-dimensional objects, just as photographs cannot truly reflect reality because they capture only one point of view. Each sculpture consists of three flat images deformed to create a three-dimensional shape, and the deformation highlights this impossibility. These portraits have been created by printing three photos of each person on PVC canvas, usually used for advertising posters in urban environments. Not without self-irony, she finds, "In a way, we are all postergirls advertising our lives online, aren't we?". Furthermore, the sculptures hang on actual meat-hooks, creating associations with consumer products; products which feed others. The objects are abstracted, each connecting images from three points of view, with the addition of various props – status symbols that represent the colleagues' social media image feeds, including food. Displaying this grotesque metaphor, the artist asks, "Are you still hungry?"

Anja Carr (1985, NO) transforms bodies, faces, toys and food into a theatrical, abject and colorful world of photography, sculpture, installation, performance, video and self-invented techniques. Her 30+ solo exhibitions include galleries in Los Angeles, London, Stockholm and Berlin and she has performed in Amsterdam, London, New York, Miami, Paris etc. 60+ group exhibitions include Triumph Gallery (Moscow, upcoming), the famous Cankarjev dom (Ljubljana), Somerset House (London), the National Museum / Mellomstasjonen (Oslo) and the Tadeusz Kantor Museum (Kraków). Carr is represented in seven public collections and has received 30+ awards and grants. Her most recent solo exhibition in Oslo was reviewed in three of the biggest national newspapers and the leading Nordic journal of contemporary art. Carr’s work has been shown on several state-run TV programs in Slovenia and Norway and in a number of international magazines, based in New York, London, etc. She founded the pink gallery PINK CUBE in Oslo in 2011.

The Riga Photography Biennial – NEXT is an international contemporary art event focusing on the analysis of visual culture and artistic representation. 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 and curators, the NEXT programme offers visibility and provides a platform for artists and curators to announce themselves to a wider context. www.rpbiennial.com

Curators of the exhibiton: Inga Brūvere (LV), Marie Sjøvold (NO)
Text by: Aiga Dzalbe (LV)


Organized by: Riga Photography biennial – NEXT in cooperation with Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council and Exhibition hall ‘Riga Art Space’

Supported by: Mērķprogramma “KultūrELPA”, State Culture Capital Foundation, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Riga City Council, Nordic Council of Minister’s Office in Latvia, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Riga, Printing house ‘ADverts’, Hibnerstudio, Kokmuiža, Arterritory, Satori, LSM, Blok Magazine (PL), Punctum, Latvijas Radio, Radio NABA

Image: Anja Carr. From the series ‘Moments (Act 1)’, 2013