Half-Love explores the relationship between the artist Diana Tamane and her younger half-sister Elina. Exhibited here for the first time, this new body of work continues a long line of projects focused on her family, in which since 2010 Tamane has collaborated with members of her extended family, with photography at the heart of the conversation.
Beginning in 2008, the year of her sister’s birth, Tamane began taking photos of their shared time together. This ongoing project, when viewed in retrospect, traces the life of Elina from birth to the spring of 2022.
The use of this one fixed location in the project means the passing of time is evident both visually and metaphorically throughout the body of work, and several reoccurring motifs emerge. The greenhouse appears as a makeshift studio where each year a traditional portrait is taken, creating a timeline as Elina grows older.
Diana Tamane (Latvia/ Estonia, 1986) was born in Riga, but lives and works in Tartu. Her primary medium of expression is photography, but she also uses video, text, drawings and found objects in her work. Tamane graduated in photography from the Tartu Art College (BA) and the LUCA School of Art in Brussels (MA). She has been an artist-in-residence at HISK in Ghent.
She has received the Friends of the S.M.A.K. Prize (2016), Riga Photography Biennial Award (2018), and the residency prize of the Kim? Contemporary Art Center (2019), allowing her to work at the Artport Residency in Tel Aviv. In 2020, APE (Art Paper Editions) published her first book, Flower Smuggler, which was shortlisted for the Paris-Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards and received the Authors Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles Book Awards 2020.
She has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (2022), Kogo gallery (2022), Narva art residency (2021), De Vereniging, S.M.A.K. (2020), ISSP Gallery (2020, 2018), Surplus Art Space (2017), Kim? Contemporary Art Center (2016) and Tartu Art House (2015). Tamane has participated in the Kyiv Biennial (2021), the festival Survival Kit 10.1 (2019), the 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (2018) and the Kathmandu Triennial (2017).
She has works in the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland).
Shoair Mavlian (Armenia/ Australia/ UK, 1984) is Director of Photoworks. She is responsible for the strategic vision and artistic direction of the organisation, including exhibitions, commissions, festivals, publishing, digital content and learning & engagement, as well as fundraising and business development. Recent Photoworks projects include Photoworks Festival: Propositions for Alternative Narratives (2020) and Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Zone Grise/The Land In between (MEP, Paris 2019).
From 2011 to 2018 Mavlian was Assistant Curator, Photography and International Art at the Tate Modern, London, where she curated the major exhibitions Don McCullin (2019), Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art (2018), The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection (2016), Conflict, Time, Photography (2014), A Chronicle of Interventions (2014) and Harry Callahan (2013). While at the Tate Modern, she helped build the photography collection and curated collection displays enjoyed by over five million visitors per year.
Mavlian has a background in fine art photography practice and the history of photography, with a focus on conflict and memory, and emerging contemporary practice. In 2018, she was named one of Apollo Magazine’s “40 under 40 Europe – Thinkers”.
Curator: Shoair Mavlian
Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova
Exhibition co-ordinator: Kristlyn Liier
Exhibition team: Indrek Aavik, Richard Adang, Nele Ambos, Tanel Asmer, Maarika Espenberg, Indrek Grigor, Joanna Hoffmann, Mare Joonsalu, Margus Joonsalu, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Katrin Lõoke, Julia Polujanenkova, Kristel Sibul, Anti Saar, Peeter Talvistu, Kristo Tamm, Ago Teedema, Urmo Teekivi, Mae Variksoo
Supporter: Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Photos: Mari-Leen Kiipli