by Katrina Kepule
In her series “Sit Silently,” Katrina Kepule portrays the signs of time in rites of subcultures surrounding the capital of Latvia and its outskirts. She seeks to identify those points where “contemporary Europe” meets different layers of the past (like Soviet and National Awakening periods in Latvia). These overlapping elements conflict and complement each other in interiors, exteriors, portraits, and Kepule’s still life images, which depict everyday and leisurely pastimes.
“Sit Silently” also depicts the artist’s journey of re-creation—escaping from “focus” and looking for her own (Latvian) identity or core, while admiring peripheral moments with their own significance, values, and feeling. If, for example, one looks from the East, Kengarags is on the periphery of Riga, Latgale is the periphery of Latvia, and Latvia is the periphery of Europe.
The title of the series is an abbreviation of a piece from so called “Google Poetics” and consists of phrases that are popularly searched on the Internet and are associated with the concept of sitting: “Sit silently / sit silently doing nothing / we sit silently and watch the world / we sit silently and watch.”
Which reminds the artist of a passage from Franz Kafka:
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Katrina Kepule is a photographer based in Latvia. She currently studies contemporary photography and personal projects as a recipient of the 2015 Roberto Villagraz scholarship at EFTI, Madrid.