Katrīna Neiburga

The 1st Purvītis Prize for achievements in visual arts in Latvia was awarded on 11 February 2009 to Katrīna Neiburga for the following works: ‘Topology 29’, exhibited at the ‘Urbanologics’ exhibition in Andrejsala, and ‘Solitude’, exhibited at the 2nd Moscow Biennial, currently property of the Kiasma Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art. Neiburga was also nominated in 2008 for her ‘Personal Exhibition’ solo exhibition at the Riga Art Space, featuring a number of recent works as well as a retrospective.

“Katrīna Neiburga moves within the territory of „poetic conceptualism” which could be interpreted as a tradition of conceptual art that liberates art from a strictly intellectual approach and expands its emotional dimension, treating instrumentalised reason critically and looking for a solution in aestheticised subjectivity. The artist has a perfect command of the video language which, often complimented by a specially created soundtrack, acquires an unexpected and sensitive narrative intonation.

Blending documentarism with fiction, Katrīna Neiburga creates stories rooted in her personal experience, which, alongside universal categories, contain references to constructions of woman’s social roles and commentaries on the contemporary society.

The ‘Solitude’ video work is like a journey in the maze of a woman’s experience, offering a peek inside the private space of the author. The viewer finds himself confronted with loneliness/solitude as an omnipresent and widespread mode of contemporary social existence. The poeticising of everyday reality transforms the texture of the customary environment and turns mundane objects into mysterious signs.” Solvita Krese.

Alongside her undergraduate and graduate studies at the Department of Visual Communication Department of the Latvian Academy of Art (through 2002), Katrīna Neiburga has spent a year studying at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm (1999–2000). Neiburga is one of the most recognised artists of her generation working in the video medium. An exhibiting artist since 2000, Neiburga also regularly works for the Latvian National Opera. Recent years have seen her exhibit her work abroad on numerous occasions. In 2008, she was nominated for the prestigious Ars Fennica Award (Finland) for Nordic and Baltic countries. At the 2008 Ars Fennica nominees’ exhibition at the Amos Anderson Art Museum Katrīna Neiburga’s work was shown to great acclaim and won the viewers’ vote.