Rojaruka Residency, open house exhibition, 2005

Roja is situated at the estuary of the Roja river and the Baltic Sea. The area is surrounded by a virtually untouched natural environment. The local fishing village has been a spectator of the Spatial Art Laboratory ROJARAKA for the past 10 years. I wanted to involve and engage the people of Roja while at the residency. Video can be very intrusive and I found the local people to be reserved and cautious. I decided to document a day spent in the village, by videoing my interactions with the environment and the local people. So as not to intrude, I focused the camera lens on my feet and those feet I met during the day. The video is a 10:40 minute looped piece and was shown to the public outdoors in a large open tent.

Accompanying the video, is a poster of "village portraits" (feet only), which was posted in shops and buildings throughout Roja. Latvia is recognized as one of the most successful countries transitioning from the Soviet era. There is an audible drive to be European not "Eastern" European, and there exists a discernable tension between maintaining identity and becoming homogenized by European pop culture. To reflect this, the images have a "Benniton" like feel to them, questioning just who or what might be for sale here.