Georgs Avetisjans is a bookmaker, photographer and designer from Latvia of Armenian origin. He has graduated from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2016 with an MA in Photography. Lived in the USA and the UK for seven years, and had several exhibitions in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, China, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, France, Denmark, Poland, Hungary and the UK. Most recently nominated and selected for the Riga Photography Biennial Award 2019 Seeking the Latest in Photography, Poznań Photo Diploma Award 2019, 2nd Prize winner of “Different Worlds 2017” at the Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which showcased recent works of ten young and emerging contemporary photographers from the CEE region and Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers’ Award 2017 in partnership with Photo London and RBB Economics. In July 2018 he published his first photobook “Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country” during the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France, and officially launched on November 2018 together with a solo show at the Latvian Museum of Photography in Riga, Latvia. The book was picked as one of the top 5 in 2018 for The British Journal of Photography by Arnis Balcus, editor in chief of FK Magazine and director of Riga Photomonth and also selected by The Calvert Journal annual round-up among the best of 8 photobooks from 2018.
Georgs has completed documentary photography class TJN by Andrejs Grants in 2009, attended two of the ISSP workshops: 'The Narrative Portrait' by Alessandra Sanguinetti (Magnum Photos) in 2015 and 'Photobook as Object' by Yumi Goto and Jan Rosseel in 2018. Also nominated in 2017 for the residency at the ‘Docking Station’ in Amsterdam to continue to work on his project ‘Homeland’ - a story about the sea, land and memory in the longest village in the country and also of how time affects and changes our sense of place. Georgs is mostly interested in a multi-layered, research based storytelling about contemporary issues from historical and ethnographical aspect on the line between reality and fiction as well as poetic, metaphoric and authentic imagery in the field of documentary reality. He is also interested in photobook making, archival materials, notes and investigative recordings and ways of how photography, design and materials could possibly shape the story of an entire photographic project.
Themes of his work are mostly about regional and national identity, genetics, ethnography, memory, nostalgia, fantasies and imagination of the future as well as existentiality. Years ago as a photographer he started to explore subjective aspects such as moods, associations in documentary reality, which formed, and still forms his visual narrative. Currently working on two new and complex narratives as a part of his long-term trilogy - "Motherland. Far Beyond the Polar Circle" which is a story of a town, which was built upon the bones of Soviet prisoners, a city in which many deported Latvians once lived. In 1952 his mum was born in Igarka and grandma was deported to Siberia on June 14, 1941. She lived there until the summer of 1956 and did not speak about it ever since, but remained silent. It was just a sense of wisdom and misunderstanding about the past, much like the landscapes that hold this dark and silent history, and historical testimonies frozen in eternal time. "Krunk. The crane that flew over the fatherland" is a story about his father, genetics, Armenian diaspora and history of the land of his forefathers in Armenia and Georgia. "Krunk" means "crane" in Armenian and it is a symbol of longing for one’s homeland, a song sung by wanderers that embodies the historical fate of the Armenian people. The song, composed by Komitas and sung for centuries, has become a quasi-official state hymn, a hymn of sadness and longing. For many, "Homeland," "Fatherland," and "Motherland " have the same concept, but for others, they may be completely different if we look at them in this context of trilogy on which he has been working for the last couple of years.