Kristaps Epners [Latvia]

Windows | video, 11’0’’, 2016

Latvian artist Kristaps Epners is the author of a multi-channel installation composed of videos documenting a number of windows and views from them. The filmed locations included residential buildings and a church. Kristaps found them in small towns located in the historical area of Livonia, and more precisely its eastern part: Latgale, named after the latgaļi (Latgalian) tribes that inhabited it. Pursuant to the Polish-Swedish treaty of Oliwa signed in 1660, this area was officially named the Polish Livonia, and it remained within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the first partition of Poland in 1772. Contemporary views from the windows of buildings in the area seem to contradict its tumultuous past: subsequent shots reveal a summer sun showing through the curtains, with the buzzing of insects, a cow mooing or church bells ringing in the background.

Epners’s work is purposefully exhibited at the Ethnographic Museum, among old everyday objects. Museum exhibits are usually hidden in the shadow, but during the two festival nights, illuminated by the light emanating from the screens, for a moment they will form part of seemingly homely interiors. It is hard to establish whether the main protagonist of Epners’s digital images are the views seen from old windows or the windows themselves, as they open and close spaces inhabited by silence and idyllic peace instead of people.

location: exhibition room on the 1st floor of the Ethnographic Department of the National Museum in Gdańsk (Abbot’s Granary), Cystersów 19


Kristaps Epners (b. 1976) is a visual artist. In 2003, he completed his studies in visual communication at the Latvian Academy of Fine Arts in Riga. In his practice, Epners uses various media, including graphic arts, performance and video. His works often refer to aspects of individual and collective memory. He has quite a few solo and collective exhibitions under his belt: in Latvia, Russia, Belgium, Croatia and Norway; most recently, his art has been showcased during the 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art RIBOCA. Epners won a number of prestigious awards. He runs marathons, lives and works in Riga.

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