From July 2, on the 1st floor of the Latvian National Library (LNL) there will be a multimedia exhibition “Narrators of Folk Songs. 1991 ‘. It brings together time and people, folk songs and counties, as well as the viewer’s experience and feelings when visiting folk songwriters.
The expedition was originally the idea of the documentary cinematographer Andris Slapiņš, who has now turned into an exhibition after 29 years.
“1991 was an alarming year and very important for Latvia. But at the same time there was such a creative oasis in Latvia, you could say, a creative place – Riga Video Center. And I had some works in Riga Video Center and in this way I got to meet Andris Slapiņš. Andris I was approached to join the team and go to Latvia to film, go on expeditions to folk songwriters, “events 30 years ago,” director Dace Micāne-Zālīte remembers in the Latvian Radio program “Kultūras Rondo”.
The first expedition was planned to North Latgale in the winter of 1991. But a few days before leaving, a shooting took place in Bastejkalns, where Andris Slapiņš was fatally wounded.
“However, we decide to continue Andris ‘idea, and Viesturs Graždanovičs will take Andris’ place. .
For all four, it was their first experience going on a folklore expedition. There have also been expeditions accompanied by ethnomusicologist Valdis Muktupāvels. The first expedition was in winter to Latgale, in spring – to Kurzeme, in summer the road leads to Vidzeme.
“This material is interesting because all the expeditions took place in one year, in 1991. Both Balttica[folklorefestival”Baltica”}andcoupdayshavebeenfilmedInadditiontothefolkloreexpeditionsthemselvesthereareothercurrenteventsthattookplaceinittime”admitsoperatorViestursGraždanovičs[folklorasfestivāls”Baltica”}ganpučadienasTurirbezpašāmfolklorasekspedīcijāmarīvēlcitiaktuālinotikumikasnotikatajālaikā”atzīstoperatorsViesturs Graždanovičs
A few years ago, he found in his archive VHS cassettes with materials from these expeditions, which he thought would be valuable to collect, digitize and show more widely.
In the exhibition it will be possible to get acquainted with the archive material assembled in about 5 hours in a concentrated form. In total, the archive contains 20 hours of footage.
Graždanovič admits that this expedition was an unforgettable experience for himself, and he also hopes that the visitors of the exhibition will feel it.
Micāne-Zālīte also joins it, acknowledging the significance of this event. She reveals that from this expedition, the narrator Marija Lāce in Jūrkalne has remained in her life as an example of how to love her land and people.
The aim of the exhibition is to complete the idea of Andris Slapiņš, which was once started, and to exhibit a collection of expeditions in the format of a multimedia exhibition. The exhibition features photographs by Latvian contemporary master of photography Jānis Deinats 29 years ago, when the artist photographed with a “Zenit” camera, capturing the locations of the events and the uniqueness of the simplicity of a folk song narrator in black and white photographs. The eye of the cameraman and artist of Viesturs Graždanovičs documents the expedition – also the wrinkles of the folk song narrator on his face in near-dangerous close-ups for a woman, and it turns out – they are long.
It is thought that the exposition should travel around Latvia after the exhibition at the National Library of Latvia. But all filmed materials will be transferred to the Latvian Folklore Repository.
The exhibition “Narrators of Folk Songs. 1991 ”will be available at the National Library of Latvia until August 15.
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