/ Katrīna Ķepule / Photo story

Sit Silently

Sit Silently portrays the signs of time in rites of subcultures surrounding the capital of Latvia and its outskirts. It captures 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 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 me 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.”

Katrīna Ķepule (1981) graduated from the ISSP School of Photography in 2014. With her project Sit Silently she has been nominated for the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards and chosen as one of the participants for Celebrating Europe exhibition in Kaunas.