Photography

Ivars Gravlejs ‘Early Works’ : A Sustainable Auto-Infanticide

By Brad Feuerhelm on November 25, 2015

What once was is now that of accouterments of a lifetime wasted in the stable of senseless mediocrity.

I type trying bitterly (perhaps) to formulate the playful hypocrisies of a commanding youthful idiocy into a bittersweet doctrine of sustainable return for the elderly elite deprived of the inconsistent economy of childhoods that have been forgotten.

The abundance for which youthful immaturity grows rampant and divided by terse petulant lust and yield for the awakening of senses amidst the canyons of adult indifference often leads to the servitude of the indulgent experience. The awakening and manufacturing of these youthful pleasures and delights seizes the creatively indentured into the ecstatic pleasures of looking. To see new, to discover with anxiety the folly of flesh, fornication, and fervent ego-fellatio produce the most bittersweet of memories only much later; attended to in the reflective guise of wisdom for the experiences eschewed if favor of advancing years.

To proclaim the crude halcyon days as folly is somewhat the circumspect folly of old age itself. With playful charisma abandoned and the stiffening of limbs onset, the “wise” elder throws less caution to the wind than when in his or her youth. Like a baboons at the zoo, we have thrown our feces at our audiences bewitched by our once alienated spectacle of perceived depravities.

How quickly we lose contact and race to muffle the screams of glee that our inner children once espoused with that of the murderous stained pillow, its down surface crushed by the weight of time and so many stones on the necks of our sun scarred shoulders. To remember these “follies” is to admit defeat and surrender our children to death, a psychological infanticide governed by the ineptitude of life at its middle age with the girth of the belly protruding from over the tops of beltlines with healthy acknowledgement and a bleak loss of the memory of what it is to be young.

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How quickly we lose contact and race to muffle the screams of glee that our inner children once espoused with that of the murderous stained pillow…

In advancing age, we blindly shovel that of excrement along that of autumn’s lifeless leaves lying on the ground weighed down by so many discarded cigarette buttes and used tissues, the condom wrapper now invisible to our heel and shovels’ advance. What once was is now that of accouterments of a lifetime wasted in the stable of senseless mediocrity.

Ivars Gravlejs’ book published with MACK is a bound recollection of a youthful experiment in photography. Raised in the years following communism’s deafening decline, Gravlejs picked up photography at an early age in Latvia; perhaps as an obsession, likely as a decry against pondering incurable boredom. The book mixes images of Gravlejs, his friends, and his environment in a paradigm of the personal and the political by means of how the images look. There remains an ephemeral scratch to many of his images due to the home processing and treatment of the celluloid under adverse conditioning. There is much cold water in the east and the images reflect the economic conditions of this processing. I think often of Boris Mikhailov when I look at their patina and try and do Gravlejs a favor by ordering the economic over that of the emulation. The playful nature of the book flirts with all the destinies of teenage anxiety…hints at a first fingering, hints at a hidden pre-occupation with something the parents do not understand. These hints recall being on the cusp of discovering one’s world. At the end of it all, I feel the most honest images are the collages. For me they seem to reign supreme and move the somewhat banal inwardly images ahead greatly, almost as if the thought translates best by the dis-corporation of the interior, shared by the need of the word and the need to scratch the surface of paper to leave ones mark in visceral terms. Where the mind laments, the pencil follows.

EXPLORE ALL FROM MACK ON ASX

Early Works

Ivars Gravlejs

MACK

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Ivars Gravlejs and courtesy of Mack.)

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