Katrina Kepule (b. 1981) is a photographer based in Latvia. She received a B.A. in Audio and Visual Culture and Theory from the Latvian Academy of Culture, and also graduated from a two year informal education program at the International Summer School of Photography in 2014. For Katrina, photography is an important way to relate to the world and translate her view to others. It allows her to get closer to the unknown and capture the things she wants to hold on to. Her chosen field is documentary photography through which she can communicate narratives often understandable on an intuitive level. Katrina enjoys being open to the surprises that life offers her to capture, while at the same time staying within a certain contemplative mood and field of interest.
The series “Sit Silently” portrays the signs of time in rites of subcultures surrounding the capital of Latvia and its outskirts. Pictures of the series capture author’s urge for a slower time zone that implies more vivid and open expressions, as well as a sense of home and creativity of daily routines beyond the usual urban experience.
Within the project the photographer seeks to identify those points where “contemporary Europe” meets different layers of the past (like Soviet and National Awakening period in Latvia) which conflict and complement each other at the same time. These overlapping elements appear creatively in interiors, exteriors, portraits and still-life images depicting everyday and leisurely pastimes.
This project is also an author’s journey of recreation—escaping from “focus” and looking for her own (Latvian) identity or core, while admiring peripheral moments with their own significance, values and feeling. If, for example, one looks from the East, Kengarags is on the periphery of Riga, Latgale is the periphery of Latvia, and Latvia is the periphery of Europe.
The title of the series is an abbreviation of a piece from so called “Google Poetics” and consists of phrases that are popularly searched on the Internet and are associated with the concept of sitting: “Sit silently /sit silently doing nothing / we sit silently and watch the world / we sit silently and watch.”
This reminds of a passage from Franz Kafka:
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
To view more of Katrina’s work please visit her website.