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Theory of Me

Melancholic Road (artist book)

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Russia and Russianness is an intrinsic item on the agenda of both Latvia and the world. The geopolitical processes, the current political rhetoric, the media narratives reminiscent of the Cold War era, the radicalised views of friends and colleagues somehow bring about connotations of the nineteen nineties and the ethnic tension-filled and otherwise politically unpleasant milieu in Latvia at that time.

Amateur videos documenting controversial events and phenomena in Russia, such as mass fist fights, traffic accidents, self-destructive actions, lynching, xenophobia and homophobia are a primary source for this book. The viral nature of these videos turn them into contemporary folklore, which may not provide an explanation, but nevertheless contains some existentially significant and irrational component that may serve as a key to the contemporary Russian cultural discourse.

20-year-old oil transit customs declarations found in an abandoned Russian military oil base near the Russian-Latvian border serve as pages for this book.

Author, design, text: Alnis Stakle
Publisher: Selfpublished
Edition: 50

Height: 30,8cm | Width: 21,7 cm | Depth: 1,7cm
Pages: 100
Images: 48 colour images
Year: 2017
Cover: hardcover
Pages: every page is unique oil transit customs declaration form from 90s | pages my have folds, holes, ect.

Book selected and acquired for collections:
*Yale University Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, New Haven, USA
*MoMA Manhattan Artists' Books, NY NY, USA
*Rijksmuseum Library, Amsterdam, The netherlands

Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards shortlist will tour to the following venues:
* Duesseldorf Photo Weekend, Germany, February 16-18, 2018
* Month of Photography, Venice Arts, Venice, California, April 8-May 5, 2018
* Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, April-May 2018
* Palm Springs Photo Festival, Palm Springs, California, May 6-11, 2018
* Triennial of Photography, Hamburg, Germany, June 7-17, 2018
* Photo Basel, Switzerland, June 12-17, 2018
* Cortona on the Move, Italy, July 13-October 2, 2018

Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards shortlist
Anamorphosis Prize special mention

2016 - book dummy "Melancholic Road" awards, shortlists & exhibitions:
Unseen Photo Fair & Festival (special mention), Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Les Rencontres de la Photographie Arles (shortlist), dummy Book exhibition, Arles, France
Fotobookfestival Kassel (shortlist), Three Shadows Photography Arts Centre, Beijing, China
Photobook Bristol (shortlist), United Kingdom
Gibellina Photoroad, Itally
Gazebook Sicily Photobook Festival, Itally
PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin, Ireland

Work series "Melancholic Road" exhibited:
Turbulence, 5th Odessa Biennale of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Odessa Modern Art, Ukraine (2017)
Still Searching, Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece (2017)
Contemporary Activism, Malmo Fotobiennal, Malmo, Sweden (2015)
Viral: Photography in the Age of Social Media, CRASSH Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences un Humanities, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (2015)

More information - www.alnisstakle.com