Paradies


2010 – 2013

I. Parādies!

"Pilsēta, pilsēta, vai Tu būsi pret mani iecietīga?" – sākumā jautāju es, redzot koku ezera otrā krastā un gar Alsteru skrejošos svešiniekus.









II. Farewell (прощание)

Я скучаю по городам с женскими именами, хотя в них всё неизменно: занятия любовью, потеря себя на улицах; шум, нежно заглушаемый разговорами прохожих; огни, пробивающиеся из под облаков, "ты возвращаешься, сизый цвет ранних сумерек" и все, что касается остального (разумеется, не более того): т. н. "бездумные церковные прелести".


Потом я обращаюсь к тебе по имени города и прошу: давай потеряемся, давай останемся между, в нежном пространстве, между домом и шпилями церквей в воздухе (я не назову это небом); всё будет говорить – нет, нет, всё будет говорить об условностях и приметах – через порог не целуются, через время это пройдет; но всё будет лишь затягиваться ещё и ещё, изредка всплывая в нашем сознании или окружающей нас реальности  (что, в общем или целом, одно и то же) – ведь это всего лишь ты и я, в поисках нежности цепляющиеся друг за друга ногтями; всего лишь туман, ранним утром провоцирующий мысли о жизни и смерти; отсутствие, добровольная самоизоляция; отсутствие сценария, отсутствие зрителей; струнный квартет, порывы ветра и проч., одиночество больших городов, шрамы после операции, вновь порыв ветра; и вновь я падаю на колени и умоляю тебя, и все мои аргументы – лишь наблюдения, которые ничего не доказывают.

И то, как я всему этому ("es atvirzījos, un viņa aizgāja…") рад: настолько, насколько можно радоваться предчувствию лезвия или, допустим, любовному письму, когда оно совершенно некстати. 


III. Tango











ich geb' Dir einen Engel mit


Essay by Vilnis Vējš

Overwhelming anxiety without any obvious reason and a spontaneous, inadequate reaction to an insignificant irritant are signs characteristic to a panic attack. If it has been experienced, the indicators can be easily recognized in Roman Drits' (1986) photographs. If it has never been experienced, the photographs will probably remind of something else. Panic lovers never listen to the advice to calm down! Pursuant to the obsession of contemporary art to immortalize fleeting impulses, in Drits' works there are no references as to what and why has been portrayed. Yet, the author reveals that the photographs are related to his experience – 'it is my own personal egoistic diary (taking photographs in hiding) about my personal comfort zone, which had to be destroyed', he writes. The change has been caused by moving to another country.

'Experience' is a word that is often used in the annotations of artworks. Experience is what is required in work interviews. Obtaining experience is the most often mentioned motivation for travelling. Then why is it so seldom related to the joy of discovery?

A wish to have experience is similar to the wish to have time. It is not possible to stop the time – it always flies. Experience builds up. It is homogeneous, because it is not possible to move in time. No one can step in another experience as if in a vehicle. In contrary to the opinion of headhunting specialists, experience is nothing valuable. You can't hand it over to someone else. Experience is always traumatic – '...including fear, which has to be overcome, when everything esle undergoes an unexpected change' – writes Drits.

Details that have attracted attention, although there is nothing important there, emerge from a darker periphery. Increased contrast and a grainy image that doesn't allow seeing nuances, are equivalent to panic. In a while, its cause cannot be identified anymore.

Widening of the European Union created an illusion that space has no importance. That there are no borders, no distance and that a place is not significant. The virtual space approves it – yes, yes, you can speak to someone who is miles away, you see his image, you hear his voice. He might be even half-naked – Roman Drits has made a photograph series Webcam Portraits, where his chat partners can be seen. The photographs explode an illusion – the chat partners are ghosts with big heads, wide-opened eyes, with the light cast either from underneath or from the sides, on a never-changing cheap and banal room background. Some time ago such phantoms appeared in expressionists' phantasies.

'Show up!' (word play – the title of the series Paradies stands for a 'paradise' in German, but in Latvian – for a verb 'to show up' in imperative without lengthening marks and exclamation mark) – the author asks the city, where he has arrived and where there is nothing familiar. The city does not respond. It hides behind the bushes and lamps and behind a silent exterior accessible to anyone. Time is necessary for obtaining experience, but as soon as it has passed, the experience will have no meaning.

Many shelves of bookshops are filled with the memoirs of emigrants. The great emigration wave took over Latvia in the beginning of the Second World War. Now old people reveal their experiences in order to incite empathy, but there is rarely anyone to respond. Despite the fact that the stories are full of the feelings of loss, longing for return, disillusionment, and warnings. People don't change. Emigration – although on different terms – is back on the schedule, and to be honest, it is getting on everyone's nerves. Wishing all the best and a bit of sentiment, fake worrying from those who stay behind! Besides, half of the emigrants are immigrant descendants, whose belonging to a particular place cannot be identifies so stricly anymore. Photo stories from workers' villages in the Great Britain show a generally pleasant life – there is no lack of food, drink and yound, beautiful bodies. Celebrities in the USA pose on the rooftops holding coctail glasses and being photographed among other celebrities. The place has no significance, distance has been abolished, and time will be in future. This time only benefits await! A story of success by all means. Valuable experience. Emigrants will definitely return, if not tomorrow, then on the day after tomorrow. If not, they will be happy in their own right. Freedom of choice! Traumas and fear will be overcome, panic will vanish. Or will be erased from memory.