Sunday, September 7, 2008

Indre Serpytyte's A State Of Silence

The new issue of 1000 Words Photography is now out and features some nice work, including a spotlight of Indre Serpytyte's project State Of Silence. Inspired by the mysterious death of her father, a Lithuanian minister working for the government, the artist began what she refers to as “indefatigable investigations” into the details surrounding his death. Serpytyte's stark, largely black and white still lives can be seen as an artistic inquiry into a tragedy that is nearly impossible to reconcile. More so, however, the images from State Of Silence read as an honoring tribute to someone who will be greatly missed. Below is Serpytyte's statement and an excerpt from the interview that accompanies the 1000 Words showcase:

"The Lithuanian papers wrote that it was a "Painful misfortune (a catastrophe)", when the Head of Government Security died. Albinas Serpytis died in the early hours of the 13th of October 2001, in a "car accident". No one seemed to know the details, or circumstances, or provide straightforward answers. His death was premeditated and brutal. For me this was sufficient proof, he had been eliminated. All that remains is silence, unknown circumstances. Hidden motivations. A chilling absence. This was my father. The subject of my indefatigable investigations."

-Indre Serpytyte

Pedro Vicente: The first thing I thought when I saw your images was that they were very aesthetic and visually pleasing. I would say, even, that they seemed to me, to some extent, peaceful, especially the paper or the typewriter ones. But when I faced the explanatory text accompanying your photographs it was like my perception was slapping my vision. I didn't see what I looked at. What role does text play in your photographs? Do you feel the text is part of your work?

Indre Serpytyte: At the time the text was very necessary to me, it just seemed right to have it. Seeing the events written in black and white helped me to come to terms with what had happened. In some ways it was like a full stop at the end of the sentence. At the start of the project, the text intended just for me, but through time, I found it hard to separate the two and now I think that the text has definitely become an inseparable part of this work. I understand that the juxtaposition of these two factors, the very visually pleasing images with such a personal and straight to the point piece of text causes friction, but it is this friction that I find fascinating. I think this friction portrays the exact emotional state I was in when these events occurred. The images portray the emotional coldness and distance towards the situation as they are very calculated and constructed therefore the text confronts the situation and the viewer head on. I hope this is how the work touches the viewers too.

All photographs from the series A State Of Silence

All Images © Indre Serpytyte