Vika Eksta's exhibition Dievs Daba Darbs - an imitation of being 0

Neringa Krikščiūnaitė, 2016-08-10
Vika Eksta's photograph

In brief: The Latvian photographer Vika Eksta's exhibition Dievs Daba Darbs, currently running at the Kaunas Photography Gallery examines the topic of unwittingly chosen female loneliness. Life depicted in the artist's photographs both took place and is ongoing. Circumstances would come about naturally and to resist them - especially talking about villages and women of the past - was often futile.

Photographer Vika Eksta exhibits photos, in which she plays the main role. On the other hand, it is not really the author itself, but a generalized character of Latvian rural woman. This type was created based on the "riches" found in the abandoned farmhouse that was merging with nature (there are plenty of such farmhouses in Latvian as well as in Lithuanian villages) and on the rural women's lifestyle analysis.

This exhibition can be perfectly read as a single woman's life diary full of routine. Women statistically live longer than men, therefore, often they would remain alone in such farmhouses and all the works would land on their shoulders. The life of such women- often elderly - would spin in this kind of trilogy - religion, nature, work.

However, despite the joyful moments appearing in the mundane life, V. Eksta reveals the life of a lonely woman. No other person or animal appears in her photographs, therefore, the character of this staged, but in fact real life, looks as if she had lost her voice. As a matter of fact, symbolically, not really, because when there is no one around, there is no need to speak. The photographs are mute, but full of very aptly conveyed thoughts, ideas and stories.

Due to the very well-staged scenes - such as bathing in a tub, pouring sugar into a sugar bowl, reading a book in bed, collecting branches in winter - V. Eksta's photographs look as if they were not created digitally but by using a brush and paint. The girl's face is gently touched by light, her background is dominated by dark colors, sometimes a blue fabric appears - these and other details create an entire painting, in which, all that is depicted, seems to have come from a fairy tale about spells, witchcraft and women's lot.

Vika Eksta's exhibition Dievs Daba Darbs at the Kaunas Photography Gallery will run until the 14th of August.

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