Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Forced Movements of the Past' by Kristīne Krauze-Slucka in Riga

May 11, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

“My childhood home is in Tukums, near the air field. Until the Restoration of Latvia’s independence in 1990, this infrastructural facility served as a Soviet reserve military airfield and nuclear weapons depot. When we were little, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing outside. Every time the low-flying military planes took off, we were thoroughly shaken by the eerie rumbling sound above our heads. We ran for cover on the gravel path home – clumsily falling, crying and scraping our knees and palms until they bled.

On 24 February, the world was shaken by Russia’s brutal and violent invasion of Ukraine. After overcoming the emotional paralysis of the first few days of the war, when all meaning of daily activities seemed to be lost, a long- forgotten childhood fear returned to me. Only this time… we are no longer just two of us.”

Kristīne Krauze-Slucka

The artist’s work is based on a sense of time and space about the destructive nature of war. “Arte povera”, or the so-called “art of poor materials”, refers not that much to the use of poor materials or a self-righteous sociological critique of society but rather an attempt to confront and reveal the experience of the human world. The recycled felt used in the installation – created by compressing the fibres of shredded fabrics – depicts a trauma that leaves an indelible mark on the individual’s personality. It is a landscape of fragmented identity that seeks to regain wholeness; these are the conditions that force one to transform and become the Other. The installation is accompanied by a soundtrack by Kaspars Jaudzems, which integrates intercepted messages from Russian soldiers on the front line and call recordings with the soldiers’ families back home.

Part of the exhibition cycle ‘Artefact Deconstructions‘, ‘Forced Movements of the Past’ is a solo show by Latvian artist Kristine Krauze-Slucka (1995). The show was on view from April 20 to May 1 at an art space ‘Tu jau zini kur’ in Riga, Latvia.
Krauze-Slucka’s choice of material, industrial pressed wool felts, plays an especially important role to the theme of the show. Marilyn Frye takes us back to the root of the word oppression, which is from press: “The press of the crowd; pressed into military service; to press a pair of pants; printing press; press the button. Presses are used to mold things or flatten them or reduce them in bulk, sometimes to reduce them by squeezing out the gases or liquids in them. Something pressed is something caught between or among forces and barriers which are so related to each other that jointly they restrain, restrict or prevent the thing’s motion or mobility. Mold. Immobilize. Reduce.” (1983,54)
The ‘Tu jau zini kur’ summer exhibition programme consists of three editions dedicated to ‘construction’, ‘deconstruction’ and ‘reconstruction’. The underlying theme – deconstruction – is an incentive to re-examine assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth and reflect upon the current status quo that requires a reformation of previous thinking patterns and creating new milestones for the uncertain future.
More information about the artist could be found on her webpage
Sound: Kaspars Jaudzems
Curated by Tina Petersone & Rudolfs Stamers
Hosted by Uldis Trapencieris and art venue ‘Tu jau zini kur’
Supported by State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Valmiermuizas Alus

Photography: Kristine Krauze-Slucka