The Portfolio of a Female Gallerist, 1995/2022
November 4, 2022–January 29, 2023
Kim? Gallery & office
Identifying marks: a female gallerist.
During a stay in Berlin in 1995, Leonards Lagaonvskis staged a series of photographs on the premises of the Galerie Barbara Weiss, enacting the image of the “contemporary German female gallerist.” For him this newly discovered role connected the dynamics of the mutual relationship/dependency between art and money with a particular understanding of the regimen and activities required to maintain one’s self-image, youth, and mental and physical health. It’s arguable that Laganovskis could have even made the series today.
Having invited a professional model and written a scenario ahead of time, Laganovskis carried out a one-day photoshoot portraying episodes and mise-en-scènes connected to the workings of the art industry. The model moves from room to room, posing in a gallery, office, warehouse, kitchen, and on a balcony. The series is to be considered a complete work, with the author adding a narrative to the images through texts freely translated into English and altered (here and there) after being extracted from women’s and business magazines popular in Germany at the time, including Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and others.
This artwork is partially constituted by an artistic gesture itself, seeing as the complete series of works was first shown in 1996 in the very same Berlin art gallery it comments on. In the context of the exhibition now on display at Kim?, the works are accompanied with an additional narrative defined by a different institution.
The Portfolio of a Female Gallerist was created as Kim?’s all-female team selected photos from Laganovskis’ original series, based on the works’ aesthetic and conceptual qualities, as well as their subjective and emotional associations with the daily realities of working at an art institution.
Viewed at any one time, The Portfolio of a Female Gallerist is, on the one hand, pragmatically realistic and, on the other, cynically self-deprecating.
What does the future hold for the gallerist?
Leonards Laganovskis (1955) is one of the most prominent conceptual artists in Latvia. His works are riddles for the mind, based on science, literature, memories, and associations. Laganovskis works in different fields of art, including drawing, graphic art, painting, photography, and sculpture. In the first half of the 1990s, Laganovskis turned to the deconstruction of particular archetypes, often making use of both irony and humor. His creative interests touch upon sociopolitics, consumerism, and culture. Laganovskis studied at the Department of Interior Design and graduated from the Department of Set Design at the Art Academy of Latvia in 1979. He gained extensive international experience while living in Germany from 1988 to 1994. He was an active member of the art scene there, organizing personal shows and partaking in group exhibitions abroad. His works appear at a number of public collections, including the Latvian National Museum of Art (Rīga, Latvia), the Collection of the prospective Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA), Neue Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin, Germany), Kupferstich Kabinett (Bremen, Germany), Kunsthalle Bremen (Bremen, Germany), Reha-Klinik Lubben (Brandenburg, Germany), Artphilein Foundation (Vaduz, Liechtenstein), Art Museum of Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia), Eesti Pank (Tallinn, Estonia), National Center for Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia), and the S. P. Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Arts (St. Petersburg, Russia). Laganovskis works and lives in Rīga, Latvia.
Acknowledgments: Iveta Feldmane
Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Riga City Council, Arterritory.com.