Entry Title: "Sit silently"
Name: Katrina Kepule , Latvia
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story, Student


Entry Description: The series “Sit silently” explores areas in time and space, where its author tries to take a rest from the necessity to leave an impression, "to be an image or object" herself. "Sit Silently" portrays the signs of time in rites of subcultures surrounding the capital of Latvia and its outskirts. Pictures of the project capture author's urge for a slower time zone that implies more vivid and open self-expressions, as well as a sense of home and creativity of daily routines beyond the usual urban experience. Within the project the photographer seeks to identify those points where "contemporary Europe" meets different layers of the past (like Soviet and National Awakening period in Latvia) which conflict and complement each other at the same time. These overlapping elements appear creatively in interiors, exteriors, portraits and still-life images depicting everyday and leisurely pastimes. This project is also an author's journey of recreation—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." This reminds 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."

About the Artist:

My name is Katrina Kepule and I am a photographer based in Latvia. Photography for me is an important way to relate to the world. It also allows me to get closer to the unknown and to capture something I want to hold on to. My chosen approach in photography relates to subjective documentary. I received a B.A. in Audio and Visual Culture and Theory from the Latvian Academy of Culture, and also graduated from a two year informal education program at the International Summer School of Photography in 2014. I have participated in masterclass by Jan Grarup : Essence of photojournalism ( 2013) and Artist's Book making workshop by Nico Baumgarten (2014). I currently study contemporary photography and personal projects as a recipient of the 2015 Roberto Villagraz scholarship at EFTI, Madrid. I have worked as a photo reporter at Chancellery of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima). I have been exhibiting my work in group exhibitions since 2007. MAIN GROUP EXHIBITIONS/ AWARDS 2016 TERRITORIES, participation in main exhibition of RIGA PHOTO MONTH 2016, cured by JH Engström • 2015 FOTOPROJECTOS 12, collection of the best photo and video projects of EFTI master students 2015, gallery Unonueve, Madrid • 2014 BlowUp! Angkor. Siem Reap, Cambodia. Young Latvian photography collection • 2014 PHOTO OFF festival Paris, GOSEE Awards selected finalists exposition • 2014 GOSEE AWARDS, group exhibition UPDATE 14, Gold AWARDS in PROJECTS category, Berlin • 2014 LENSCULTURE EMERGING TALENTS 2014 top 50, Barcelona Exhibition, Galeria Valid Foto • 2014 CELEBRATING EUROPE, group exhibition, (part of KAUNAS PHOTO festival) • 2014 Quadrennial PICTURE STORY , the first Baltic Sea Region Country Picture Book Competition in Riga, one of 45 participants selected for the exhibition/ catalogue • 2011 WORLDS FOUND OF NATURE photo contest HOUR OF EARTH , Sympathy Prize from PHOTO ACADEMY