solo show Exercises
May 20th – July 24th, 2016 at NOASS Floating Arts Centre, Riga, LV
video, sculpture, installation
In the exhibition Exercises artist Kristaps Epners’ field of interest concentrates on studies of the movement of the human body – in this case that of a budding professional gymnast, as well as the idiosyncratic environment and apparatus that are part and parcel of the gymnast’s daily life. In the gymnasium, there is a special atmosphere and relationship between trainers and pupils, in which one senses not only an unwritten agreement and code of behaviour, but also the collective family awareness, which interacts with a highly focused individual. In gymnastics, the only acceptable reference point is a perfectly executed canon of movement. For hours, days, months and even years, the same basic elements of movement are repeated in a relentless effort to achieve an ideal.
During gymnastics, time not only slows down, but occasionally freezes as the gymnast’s body moves, performing what seem to be one and the same routines. The gymnasium is the gymnasts’ temple. The absolute goal of this effort, discipline and these endless exercises is the most purely executed figure of movement possible, while the cyclical exercises strive to achieve as straight a line as possible.
Photographs: Ansis Starks