European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Alnis Stakle

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Alnis Stakle

Alnis Stakle

Biography

Alnis Stakle (b.1975) lives and works in Latvia. He holds PhD in art education from Daugavpils University, Latvia. Since 1998, his works has been exhibited in Latvian Museum of Photography, Latvian National Museum of Art, The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Modern Art Oxford (GB), Langhans gallery in Prague (CZ), Art Center ‘Winzavod’ in Moscow (RU), ‘Gostiny Dvor’ Museum and Exhibition Complex in Archangelsk (RU), Regional Art Museum in Tjumen (RU), Museum Center in Krasnojarsk (RU), Russia State Center of Photography in St. Petersburg (RU), Contemporary Art Museum in Santo Domingo (E),Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires (AR), Museum of Modern Art Carlos Merida of Guatemala City (GT), Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR in Brussells (BE).

Stakle is represented by Grinberg Gallery in Moscow and Inde/Jacobs Gallery, San Antonio, Texas.

Portfolio Not Even Something

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Marcel Proust

During the Soviet era (until 1990) cities were usually divided into districts that would often differ not only with different names but also different functions. For example, there were residential, industrial, retail, entertainment districts. After the fall of Soviet Union many of these districts lost their function – factories were closed, fences were partly dismantled, bushes and plants reclaimed these territories. People started to use these new spaces as shortcuts to get to certain destinations in the city. Although public transportation connects city districts, it became easier to pass through these territories on foot during the evening and the night. Thus new pathways and roads appeared even though they were not included in any official map of the city. In turn, some areas began to appear on new maps. They never represented the resident’s destination, but are intermediate sections between the important parts of the city. Not Even Something explores these 'ghost areas' at night – the most dangerous time to be in these indeterminate, less-populated areas. Pedestrian beaten tracks as often as not defined the aesthetical basic principles of the structure of work. Although the tracks themselves governed the focus of the photographs, the aesthetic results proved to be atmospheric and beautiful.
 

Portfolio Home Sweet Home

The series of works Home Sweet Home depicts private houses and their adjacent territories at night-time in various small towns of Latvia. The captured private houses have consciously been selected as such that cannot boast about being architectural masterpieces or cultural monuments, but through the simplicity of their frames and constructions permit to easily relate these images to the archetypal home structures embedded in collective unconsciousness. Oftentimes, we may also encounter the archetypal depiction of the image of house, which sometimes appears plain, naive and romantic, in children’s drawings, dreams and fairy-tale motifs. One of the subjective aspects for such a representation of home and private territory in my work can be traced back to my dream patterns and childhood drawings where a frequently encountered image is that of a plain private house at night with light shining from one window.
The set of photos Home Sweet Home is all about living on the edge of survival, about a town as a space which is consciously organized yet infused with and constituted by a plethora of irrational components. It’s all about striving for warmth which is both, individual and collective, psychological and physical; it’s about symbols and codes that abound in our everyday life, sometimes pushing us to make conscious and unconscious choices.
 

Publications

Publications: 

2013 Sense of Place - Contemporary Latvian Photography (Arnis Balčus / Reinis Hofmanis / Alnis Stakle), Contemporary culture centre KultKom: Riga, Latvia

2009 Alise Tīfentāle, Neputns: Riga, Latvia

Exhibitions: 

2013 Thicket, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia

2012 Not Even Something (curated by: Christophe De Jaeger), Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium

2008 Topography of Biography, Art Center, Moscow, Russia

2007 Nothing Personal, National Art Museum exhibition hall, Riga, Latvia

2006 Flash Back (curated by: Miria Swain), Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, England, UK

Additional information: 

Stakles series of images Not Even Something was featured on Wired

You can read an interview with Stakle on Urbanautica.