Ivars Gravlejs: Early works
23. 6. – 16. 7. 2009
vernisáž v pondělí 22. 6. v 18:00


“I often felt nauseous before going to school because of the humiliation which I faced in relation to teachers. The only way to survive school was to do something creative – take pictures and produce movies.”

In the age of 11 I got my first photo camera in a trade for 20 empty cans of lemonade and beer. I started to experiment and to react to the life around me. I was fascinated by chemical photo process, it was magic for me. At the same time I had no interest to read a photo handbooks and I had no idea about art.

On account of my camera I earned great attention between my classmates. In front of the camera everybody started to behave in different way. Most often it happened that the stronger boys started to torture the weaker ones. Or another way around – the weaker ones suddenly attacked the stronger ones just for a few seconds to be photographed. It was like a fight game. My classmates were aware of photography's importance so they wanted that their activity of expressing the physical power is documented.

Simultaneously to the photo practices, from 1992 to 1993 together with my classmate Rinalds Mežalis we made short 8mm movies called “I.R. Piktuers”. The films can be divided up into two categories – those which are artistic (pursuit of ideas, experimentation), and those which are documental (the everyday life of the school – fights among classmates, and teachers).        In 2009 I started to work with my childhood archive and classified it in different art movements, for example, Performance art, Conceptual art, Pop art, Experimental art. From today's perspective in “Early works” it's possible to find quite a lot of references to the history of art, therefore “Early works” is more than tentative childhood experiments. 

Ivars Gravlejs

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