Bird’s-eye views and industrial decay share space at photo museum

There are artists whose works are born high up amidst the clouds, while others prowl deep into abandoned basements and underground shafts for their source of divine creative inspiration. On Thursday at the Latvian Museum of Photography two such contrasting exhibits opened to the public – ‘Cartography of Dreams’ by aerial photographer Mihails Ignats and ‘Ghosts’ by Māris Grunskis, who makes Soviet-era industrial landscapes into breathtaking photographic visions.

Photographer Māris Grunskis calls himself a “digger” or urban archaeologist. His works in the exhibit “Ghosts” portray abandoned Soviet-era basements, hangers and buildings, as well as even older objects in various states of decay. It’s not the artist’s job to show how decrepit the heritage of the past has become, but first of all to see the artistic value preserved therein.

“Mostly it’s Soviet history, lots of leftovers from that time. But I’m interested in other times as well, like the Daugavpils Fortress. Where history, interacting with people and nature create visions like this,” he explains.

Among the 27 works of photography in Grunskis’ exhibit are also some mixed-media pieces including a video installation.

As if from out of the clear blue skies alongside is another exhibit by aerial photographer Mihails Ignats, featuring 20 picturesque Latvian landscapes taken from bird’s-eye perspectives over the course of six years and over 90 flights over the land. The geographic territories of almost the entire nation are featured in these photographs, while their author is currently engaged over Ukraine as a civil aviation expert for the OSCE observing mission.

Both exhibits will be open until January 11.

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