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View from the RFB 2024 exhibition at the RIXC Gallery


The exhibition “A Breaking Point, A Delicate Balancing Act”, which is on view from 20 April to 15 June at the RIXC Gallery, focuses on the relationship between artificial intelligence and photography. As part of the Riga Last Thursday on May 30 the exhibition is open from 12:00 to 21:00!

In the face of ghostly AI-processed images, photography confronts an existential crisis. Exhibiton A Breaking Point, A Delicate Balancing Act delves into photography's melancholy amid technological shifts. Featuring non-traditional works by Ieva Rojūtė, Albert Grøndahl, and Benjamin Freedman, it raises critical questions about the medium's role in our uncertain world.

As a future of ghostly AI-processed images is fast approaching, photography seems to find itself in an existential crisis. A medium culturally accustomed to (re)presenting the World in all its detail is now facing competition from a formidable adversary. Unlike traditional photography, which requires real-location-based input and physical presence, text-to-image renderers can generate images from immaterial keywords, seemingly eliminating the need to be there for the photographic "that-has-been" to happen.

This situation raises complex questions regarding visual culture. While many present-day critical inquiries are primarily concerned with exploring what renderers can do, this exhibition takes a different path. Instead of delving into the rapidly changing technological state of AI modeling, it aims to examine photography and explore its present-state melancholy.

A Breaking Point, A Delicate Balancing Act takes a poetic and exploratory stance to navigate the nuanced current state of affairs in photography. On one hand, we witness the extensive use of representational photographic practices, with images employed daily to communicate in unprecedented quantities. On the other hand, there is an underlying anxiety attached to photography, anticipating an uncertain and murky future. This might be a breaking point, as theorist Andrew Dewdney and others have suggested. But a breaking point of what exactly? Is it a breach of trust? Is it a challenge to the ability of photography to depict real-world events, or is it questioning our established relationship and regime with photographic images?

This fragile state of affairs is mirrored by the absence of traditional photographs in the exhibition, yet it remains profoundly photographic. The raised questions and critical vocabulary highlight the proliferation of photographic culture. The exhibition features a site-specific installation by Lithuanian artist Ieva Rojūtė, unique cyanotypes exposed by moonlight by Danish photographer Albert Grøndahl, and software-generated photographic work by Canadian visual artist Benjamin Freedman. These artworks address issues related to the instability of photography through language (Rojūtė), the "memories" of AI-generated images (Freedman), and unstable surfaces (Grøndahl). Together, they present a seductive and aesthetic outer shell, yet deeper critical issues related to the mutability and future uncertainty of the photographic medium loom. How do we continue using photography as a tool when we are uncertain about the world it was invented to depict? The anxiety about photography is, in fact, anxiety about our worldview and our daily positioning of the very selves we create and recreate through imagery. 

Benjamin Freedman (CA), Albert Grøndahl (DK), Ieva Rojūtė (LT) 
Paulius Petraitis (LT)
Scenography: Pauls Rietums (LV)

The exhibition is on view at the RIXC Gallery, Lencu iela 2, Riga, Latvia, from April 19 to June 15, 2024, Wednesday-Saturday, 12.00-18.00. Free enterance.


The Riga Photography Biennial is an international contemporary art event, focusing on
the analysis of visual culture and artistic representation. The term ‘photography’ in the
title of the biennial is used as an all-embracing concept encompassing a mixed range of
artistic image-making practices that have continued to transform the lexicon of
contemporary art in the 21st century.



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