Black Carnations
or A Gay History of Latvia


Sunday 5 June • 4 pm

Black Carnations | or A Gay History of Latvia - Paris Ass Book Fair

Konstantin Zhukov, Evidence Photography #43 (detail), 2022

30 years after Latvia decriminalized male homosexuality, Latvian artist Konstantin Zhukov continues his research and interpretation of the LGBTQ+ histories of this Baltic country through his work. The Knights of Black Carnation, same-sex weddings during World War II and the Soviet “cruising central”—join in to find out more about the Latvian LGBTQ+ histories through the eyes of the artist.

Konstantin Zhukov (b. 1990, Riga) is an artist who lives and works between Riga and London. His creative process is informed by the research of historical and literary sources, unveiling stories exploring different forms of attachment and sexuality. He recently started the Black Carnation project to explore the scarcely documented LGBTQ+ histories of his home country. The project’s title is a reference to the name for homosexual men used in interwar Latvia and the so-called Black Carnation Club Case—the first and only criminal case in interwar Latvia where several men were accused of pederasty (homosexuality). While the first part of the project celebrated the black carnations of today, the aim of the second part is to investigate the history. The show Black Carnation part 2 was presented at ISPP gallery in Riga earlier this year. Zhukov’s work has been published internationally both online and in print in such publications as i-D, CAP74024 and Arterritory.