Roman Korovin

Solo artist 2020

Roman Korovin

My Family Photo Album

Roman Korovin contributed to the 2020 Festival Centre with the project ‘My Family Photo Album’, a fictitious story of a non-human family experiencing all the milestones a real human family would want to document through photography. With his project Latvian Korovin explores how photography as a medium has the ability to shift between real and constructed unlike any other medium. Korovin argues that in times of harsh political conditions and economical inequality it is important to imagine the world in different ways.

By interpreting the real through the constructed, Korovin questions in what way photographs are really connected to the events they evolve around. In his photographs message doesn’t appear in a single, separate frame, but in the compilation of several frames instead and the composition of such sets. This principle most expressively appears in the exhibition installations and his photo books.

Ever since Korovin graduated he has held solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows both in Latvia and abroad, most recent ones include “Ornamentalism. Contemporary Latvian Art” at the Collateral Events Program of the 56th Venice Biennale (Italy) and “Extension.lv: Meeting with Ourselves” at the Triumph Gallery, Moscow (Russia). His exhibition “Right in the Middle” won the Latvian Photography Award in 2006, and in 2008 he was nominated for the Purvītis Prize for works from the exhibition “Is the Medium the Message? Latvian Contemporary Photography”. He now lives and works in Riga, Latvia. ​

BIOGRAPHY

Roman Korovin (1973) graduated as a graphic artist from the Art Academy of Latvia (MA, 1997). He has worked as a music clip and advertisement Director for the production company “Vilks Studio” in Riga, Latvia, and as Assistant Manager at Fulcrum Gallery in New York, USA. Roman Korovin primarily works with photography, but is also known for his videos, paintings, drawings and ready-made installations that all draw from and expands on the body of his photographic work.


Mitchell Moreno

Solo artist 2020

Mitchell Moreno

BODY COPY

Mitchell Moreno was represented on the 2020 Festival Centre with ‘Body Copy’. With this project Moreno seeks to explore the constructed and performed masculinities of queer culture in relation to power and identity politics. In a series of performative self-portraits, they responds to texts on male same-sex hook-up sites. They scour apps and websites for adverts looking for people and acts which are notable for their specificity, and which are within the scope of Moreno’s physical characteristics.

By taking the texts of the advert (which also become the title of the picture) and creating the ideal response through a self-portrait, Moreno engages with the dynamic between identity and body. The series aim to interrogate ideas around the construction and performativity of masculinities; the atomisation of queer sexualities; digital identity and the transactional discourse of online dating; and the photographic portrait as an unreliable and unstable signifier of the self. Moreno acts as both stylist, set decorator, subject and photographer, and each image is made on a shoe-string budget in a corner of their flat.

Moreno’s work is engaged with queer culture, the performativity of gender, and the non-conforming body as a charged site relating to discourses of power, agency, and identity politics. Additionally, they are interested in the problematics of the documentary genre and the semiotics of photographic truth and fiction. Moreno’s work has been shown in the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Prize, and has been published in Photomonitor and the British Journal of Photography.

BIOGRAPHY

Mitchell Moreno (pronouns they/them/their) was born in Leicester, UK, as a child of a barmaid and a builder. After studying at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, they worked for over a decade in theatre as a performer and director. From 2017 they refocused their creative practice around photography, in which they are self-taught.


Ilvy Njiokiktjien

Solo artist 2020

Ilvy Njiokiktjien

Born Free

Ilvy Njiokiktjien has worked in many parts of the world, with a focus on Africa. During her work in South Africa in 2007, she became intrigued by the born-frees, the first generation born after the end of apartheid. The result is the project ‘BORN FREE – Mandela’s Generation of Hope’ with which she participated in the 2020 Festival Centre. Njiokiktjien portrays the children in her own, personal and intimate style, and in general her projects builds upon the themes of the National Youth Policy, a vision for improving the lives of youths, that was drafted during Mandela’s presidency. Groups that the policy draws special attention to – like young women, unemployed men, rural youth or people with HIV/Aids – are all included in her work up to now. Nijokiktjien says that “Equality is there on paper, but a majority of young people believe white South Africans still have better chances, as the legacy of centuries of inequality is still there.”

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Der Spiegel, NRC Handelsblad, Telegraph Magazine and Stern, among others, and was exhibited at Visa pour l’Image in 2012. Accolades include a Canon AFJ Award, two awards at World Press Photo and first prize in POYi’s Issue Reporting Multimedia Story.

BIOGRAPHY

Ilvy Njiokiktjien (b. 1984) is an independent photographer and multimedia journalist based in the Netherlands, represented by VII Photo Agency and is a Canon Ambassador. As a documentary photographer, she covers current affairs and contemporary social issues.