This Is Not a Shop

ISSP School Graduate Exhibition 2019/2021


08.07. – 25.07.

Elizabetes iela 87


Graduate Exhibition of the ISSP School 2-year programme Developing Photographic Language

Artists: Anete Aramina, Annija Meikšāne, Elīna Šteinberga, Elvīra Blumfelde, Elza Marta Ruža, Ieva Ozoliņa, Jana Uljanova, Monta Kurme, Monta Gāgane


The shop windows at Elizabetes Street 87 were once occupied by the luxury clothing store Bergs. For several years now they have stood empty, collecting dust and waiting for the next tenant. Given the recent trend of working remotely and shopping online, this waiting situation threatens to last longer, but in the meantime, the space may take on an uncharacteristic shape, for example, becoming a temporary art gallery.

The title of the exhibition This Is Not a Shop does not just refer to the former function of the space, but also to the recent restrictions, during which shops were open, but museums were closed, thus indirectly reflecting the current system of values within our society.

The exhibition can also be seen in the context of the famous essay “This Is Not a Pipe” by French philosopher Michel Foucault, in which Foucault offers a deconstruction of René Magritte's painting The Treachery of Images (1928–1929) at the intersection of language, image and reality.

This Is Not a Shop is the graduate show of the ISSP School, in which young artists express their current worldviews, looking for a way out of the absurdity that has developed as a result of long months of distancing. The way out of the fatigue caused by this situation can be sought through our personal experience, our relationship with nature, or our memories, which we can reconstruct to create a new, perhaps much more acceptable reality.


Curator: Iveta Gabaliņa

Sponsors and partners: Berga Bazārs, Kokmuiža, NRJ reklāmai, KRASP faundation