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Alnis Stakle

Alnis Stakle is a photographer, filmmaker, and curator who has displayed his work in about 25 solo exhibitions to date across Europe and internationally. Countries which Alnis has exhibited include Latvia, South Korea, Slovakia, Lithuania, Israel, Belgium, France, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, the United States, Czechia, Norway, and Spain. To date, Alnis has participated in about 70 exhibitions across Europe and internationally and recent solo exhibitions include Klaipeda Cultural Communication Center in Lithuania and the Latvian Museum of Photography. Notable publications include The Urbanaut Podcast, Talking Pictures, Latvian Landscape book, and an article in the British Journal of Photography. 

Alnis creates both abstract and representational photography often using analogue photography and aged photo lab materials to fuse his creations. Often containing distortions and exposure burn-like effects, the study of his works remains unclear as to whether his contortions are created in the darkroom or fused with materials after creation. Alnis’ work remains mysterious in conceptual subject matter and abstracted forms, having the viewer question what exactly they are viewing. Usually containing a sfumato (smoke) appearance, many of his works both representational and abstract appear as if they were created amongst a mist of a dreary fog. Often containing high saturation and low contrast, these pieces investigate the purpose of image-making by using aged and obsolete technology such as analogue photography to investigate what Alnis describes as the ‘metalanguage’ and ‘postconceptual’ aspects of photography. Alnis does not simply use obsolete technology, he creates fresh perspectives using techniques of old lab materials and methods in ways which reinterpret surfaces and the illusion of textures. 

Slightly Bored Flâneur Strolling Nostalgic Depths of Postconceptual Objectivity (pictured above) is a diptych representing abstracted imagery using Alnis’ signature monotone gradations of neutral colors such as grays, off-whites, and earth tones. These pieces appear like folds of fabric or pieces of paper literally burned or torched through exposure through the lab process. The photos portray a series of over-exposed photography which create organic-shaped burns and aspects of erosion. These works present an allegory of the relationship between human impact and corrosion of materials, in essence the pieces may be interpreted as having aged or destructive qualities. Aesthetically, the photos are beautiful and mysterious, portraying a unified geometric composition with subtle variations in tones. Through these series of works, Alnis has the viewer question the nature of time and the fact remaining of which nothing escapes the destructive qualities of erosion, in other words, literally everything falls apart. 

Alnis Stakle creates deep, philosophical works which have the viewer ponder on his machinations of process. Subtle yet clear, these photographs find new purposes for photographic image-making through lab techniques and studies in texture and sfumato atmosphere. Even his representational works, although varied, usually share similar traits with his abstracted pieces such as the unification of tones and portraying continuity throughout his composition, enhancing the flatness of the surface. These refreshing artworks offer insight into new interpretations of contemporary photography, offering a fresh perspective into the art of the process, giving off a unique fluxus-inspired finish.

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