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STIG STASIG. “FORSTATE”

7.12.2017 – 21.01.2018
Photography exhibition “Forstate” featuring works by Danish photographer Stig Stasig will be exhibited from December 7 in Latvian Museum of Photography.

The exhibition “Forstate” is based on Stig Stasig’s 25 years old classic black and white film Leica street photos from the central Riga area – Maskavas Forstate. The images document the daily life of a marginalized population, mainly Russians and Belarusians, in the year after the Latvian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The exhibition “Forstate” is based on Stig Stasig’s 25 years old classic black and white film Leica street photos from the central Riga area – Maskavas Forstate. The images document the daily life of a marginalized population, mainly Russians and Belarusians, in the year after the Latvian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The area has had a reputation of crime, violence, social problems and alcoholism for centuries. During 2017, Stig Stasig has revisited the area on several occasions and made video interviews with re-found people originally showing in the photographs from 1992. The photographer pays special attention to the tunnel under the railway, at the end of Daugavpils Street. Most locals know this place as “Razdevalka” (“Раздевалка”, which means “dressing room”). In the 1990s, people were often robbed here. Through interviews with former criminals, Stig has explained the systems and hierarchies in the criminal gangs, as well as the actual working methods. ‘My goal in 2017 was to try to make something like a conclusion or to finish somehow the project, but the more I discovered, the harder it turned out,’ says Stig Stasig. ‘Trying to find some kind of final truth in real life/reality is impossible: if you start “digging with open eyes”, and take the time to listen to the stories, the whole picture just becomes more diverse, complex and fantastic, but also very confusing.’ The exhibition is both a reflection of the given living conditions for the Maskavas Forstate inhabitants in 1992, as well as a comment on the development in photography itself, from analogue to digital, from stills to video, and moving away from the classic idea of “the good photograph” towards an open minded process or investigation of the photographic media. In the end, the whole idea of traditional documentary photography dissolves. Stig Stasig (1961) is a Copenhagen based photographer and artist. He works as photogravure consultant at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Stig won the first international “Preis für Jungen Bildjournalismus” in 1991, which financed his one year stay in Riga. His works are represented in the permanent collections at the Museum of Photographic Art, Odense, The Royal Danish Library, Copenhagen, and in private collections in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and USA.




EXHIBITION OPENING WILL TAKE PLACE ON DECEMBER 7, 2017 AT 5:00 PM IN THE LATVIAN MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY, MARSTALU STREET 8 (ENTRANCE FROM ALKSNAJU ST.)

WE WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO OVERLY, DANISH ARTS FOUNDATION, DESIGN AGENCY “PIECI EZERI”