The opening of photographer Andrejs Strokins’s solo exhibition “Disorders and Obstacles” will take place on Thursday, 5th February at 6:30 pm at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art’s Office Gallery. Strokins has focused on the subject of alcohol in a cycle of his work for the exhibition, which manifests itself as both a particular kind of psychological state as well as a ritualized cultural phenomenon. The exhibition will be on view until March 5th.
The works of the exhibition “Disorders and Obstacles” reflect people’s desire to escape from reality, or make it more bearable with the help of alcohol. The centuries-old culture of drinking has greatly impacted society, but at the moment the situation is dependent on the recent past, which has shaped our social behavior. The consumption of alcohol united several generations and social groups, and has become a social ritual that has become too widespread and accepted, as also a necessary component of public events. In the exhibition “Disorders and Obstacle” Andrejs Strokins examines the narrow border between the clear perception of reality and intoxication – and understand the state in which a person loses their sense of balance and their awareness transforms and becomes clouded.
"lips groping for the mouths
of bottles cast into the sea
groping to drink their messages
mumbling through scribbles, obscure in places,
the guttural, whorled gurgle of bubbles
painstakingly articulating in polite formulas
the crumpled beginnings
choking on wild laughter
to penetrate the details of the catastrophe
the ship sank
and the sun shrivelled up
and the capsized sea spilled out
and we’re here
we, your surrogate brothers and sisters
related by reason, naturally — how else—
extraneous reason maybe, extraterrestrial maybe
does it make any difference at this degree of amnesia
for those who have tasted unearthly bliss
we, the very same gelatinous heavenly creatures
lost in the uninhabited reinforced concrete jungles
standing deathly contorted like undiscovered pseudorangutans
on the uncultivated coast of a longed-for Champansee
we’re waiting for the signal and dying of thirst
here the ink became blurred
and through pink and blue jellyfish lenses
were seen the washed-out remains of flat impassive faces"
(Poem by Semjons Haņins; Translated by Kevin M. F. Platt, Julia Bloch and Maya Vinokour)
Andrejs Strokins (1984) has graduated from the Department of Graphic Design at the Latvian Academy of Art and received additional training at numerous photography courses and creative workshops. He has participated in group exhibitions in both Latvia and abroad, and organized a solo exhibition in Lithuania entitled “People in the Dunes” (2014). Andrejs Strokins works as an independent photographer, and most recently has garnered awards at a number of photography competitions, including Kaunas Photo Star, La Quatrieme Image, and the Photo Annual Awards in the category of documentary photography. “Disorders and Obstacles” is his first solo exhibition in Latvia.
The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art’s Office Gallery and Information Centre is open every working day from 12:00 pm until 6 pm; entrance to the exhibition is free. Address: Alberta Street 13 (7th floor), Rīga, LV-1010.