Falling - PhMuseum


31 March   >  06 July, 2020

Looking at the ties between love and the photographic, the exhibition takes as its point of departure the seminal work by Roland Barthes Camera Lucida and traces its mark on lens-based contemporary practitioners.
Enter Exhibition


Curated by
​​Evita Goze
06th July, 2020

Rain falls and night falls. I fall in love and out of, into sleep and towards my death. I fall into the image, into the projected picture of the body I desire. I fall into photography.

(Esther Teichmann, Falling into Photography)

Falling looks at the ties between love and the photographic – its roots lying in Roland Barthes seminal work Camera Lucida, a moving reflection on the death of his beloved mother while searching for a new language for photography.

Within the world of Camera Lucida the piercing force of a photograph lurks in its indexicality and even the arrival of the digital hasn’t been able to shatter it yet – we believe in images the same as a century ago despite the photographic filters we use every day and Instagram accounts of 3D models being set up. Similarly, as an imprint left in the bedsheets by beloved’s body, a lock of hair or lingering smell in the clothes, for Barthes photograph is a trace directly linked to one’s existence [1]. It might say nothing of the person, but it confirms their presence in a certain moment of the past. Events are slowly blurred and re-written by our memory, but the photograph knows no bargaining – it shows “a real body, which was there” [2], clashing with its absence at the moment when the picture is looked at. The mediums pain and pleasure derives from its promise to capture, even to touch the beloved body [3], the photograph serving as a shared skin, a sort of “umbilical cord” which joins the gaps in time [4]. Pledging, coming so close, but never fully closing the gap between the observer and the one observed. It’s easy to fall into the tempting promise of the image to keep the loved ones always by our side or perhaps even to own them.

All artists featured are looking at love not from a distant point of observer, scrutinising strangers as peculiar specimens (Even in the case of Annemarija Gulbe who does exactly that, it steams out of her personal struggle to experience the falling in love, while all her peers seem to be occupied with nothing else than that), but drawing upon a personal experience of love and photography as a way of understanding it. Within the imagined worlds of Esther Teichmann, marked by an early loss, boundaries of autobiography and fiction are blurred, bodies of lovers, family and friends collapsing into one, photographs serving as alluring, but merciless reminders of the inevitable separation to come (or which has already occurred). Gustavo Sagorsky pictures his partner Sonia throughout of more than 20 years of life together. Sonia becomes older, but still as beautiful in Gustavo’s eyes as when they met, their children are growing up, the cameras and styles of photography change, picturing not only their relationships, but also the ones with photography. Sara Perovic attempts to understand her parents, borrowing and transferring to her own relationships her mother’s object of desire – her father’s beautiful legs. Peyton Fulford tenderly portrays the LGBTQ+ community in the American South. Herself being queer and having hidden it due to the pressures of her religious upbringing, Fulford wants to empower and encourage others to celebrate their identities and bodies. Yushi Li looks at the commodification of the desire, renting both her ideal homes and men and placing herself alongside in the image. Meanwhile Ekaterina Anokhina and Mateusz Sarello are using photography as a self-help tool to cope with a break-up, in psychology often compared to the experience of death itself.

Both melancholic and life ensuring, Falling celebrates the photographic image – flesh conjured up by light – and its bewitching promise to seize which is never ours. The same promise as love offers.

[1] Eduardo Cadava, Paola Cortés-Rocca, Notes on Love and Photography, OCTOBER 116, Spring, p. 17

[2] Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: The Noonday Press, 1993, p. 80)

[3] Eduardo Cadava, Paola Cortés-Rocca, Notes on Love and Photography, OCTOBER 116, Spring, p. 17

[4] Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: The Noonday Press, 1993, p. 81)

Featured Photographers


​​Evita Goze

​​Evita Goze

Curator, writer & photographer

Evita Goze (Latvia, 1984) is a curator, writer and photographer, based in Riga, Latvia. Her practice is driven by her interest in constructing narratives which blur the boundaries between reality and fiction and makes the highly personal public. She is currently a curator at the ISSP Gallery and of the photobook festival Self Publish Riga. She received a BA in Photography from University of Brighton, UK, and an MA in Visual Communication at the Art Academy of Latvia. In 2012 she received a grant for exchange studies at the Nagoya University of Arts, Japan. Her most recently curated exhibitions include Wow, what a great view (2020), It could just swallow you up by Ieva Raudsepa (2019) and ENTER. Photobooks from the Baltics as part of Belgrade Photomonth (2019). She has worked on the juries of several photography competitions, including Grand Prix Fotofestiwal Lodz, Art Fair Foto Tallinn, Belgrade Photo Month’s New Talents, Kassel Dummy Award and Self Publish Riga photobook dummy competition. She is also a contributing writer for Latvian weekly publications IR and “Kultūras Diena”, websites FK Magazine, Arterritory, and The British Journal of Photography and Tjej Land, focusing on photography and contemporary art.

ISSP is a non-commercial platform for contemporary photography, based in Latvia and acting internationally, offering high-quality alternative education and networking programmes for emerging photographers. Since its establishment in 2006, ISSP has run the International Summer School of Photography, initiated local and international education, exchange and residency programmes, produced exhibitions, publications and events, and, most importantly, gathered a thriving community of emerging photographers in Latvia and internationally. The ISSP Gallery - an exhibition and events space for contemporary photography - was established in Riga in 2018.