imants krumins – bum not as in person. mute

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Imants Krumins

Bum Not As In Person. Mute

play this essay


So here it is a thing just like the landscapes and stone walls I build ……..

some stuff that will change and disappear



Born in the UK know nothing important about it, lived most of my life in Australia

Went to art school, failed at least once…… Sculpture major that’s what the piece of paper says

Exhibited on the Continent, The New World and The Old World ………. No awards prizes etc but I do have a pest control certificate

a troubled mind …with a troubled cure


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Imants Krumins


141 Responses to “imants krumins – bum not as in person. mute”

  • I keep trying to figure out something good I can say about this. I must be on the wrong web site.

  • JIM…

    yes, you must be…

  • I’m just thinking of the discussion on Buzz of how far you should go with manipulation, and then this thing comes up. This is too far, unambiguously, to me.

  • Jim I use the same photographic tools as you, digital ,film amd digital software etc. I doubt this is about manipulation it’s about making stuff via photography

  • It is stuff, but I don’t think it’s photography. It would, though, be the perfect basis for a promo on the SyFy channel.

  • Imants,

    i dont particular like this kind of pictures. but i am still looking at it. would have liked more to look at this in print, large, so i can nitpick and choose which quarter inch i need to look into another minute and the next.

    just wondering? how long does it take you to do a poster?

    Congratulations on being published here.

  • Of course it is photography, I use light, a camera etc. There are about 30 images in the slide show.

  • Imants,

    What’s troubling your mind?

  • aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh weall have toubled minds when we kick our souls around our backyards

    ………….. have to teach for a few hours in a darkroom so my responses may be limited for a while but I will respond, but I see no need to justify………………. smile

  • I will post a link to the original imaes later

  • The original images are not what you have shown here. I don’t know what you are trying to prove with them. At some point there might have been photography, but, this isn’t it.

  • According to whom Jim?

  • If you use a camera and capture an image, ‘develop’ it in a darkroom or Photoshop is it still not photography? I am more curious as to what message or emotion is trying to be conveyed. If there is no coherent subtext then it becomes post-modern art where everything is acceptable in its own relative place. I am leaning toward liking it and the multi-media aspect I think is where the medium of photography is headed especially on the web (a la Burn). Interesting, thought provoking, would like to hear what motivated the artist/photographer. No need to justify, would just like to know where this came from and where it is going.

  • Imants, according to the observer. Unless you are satisfied to talk to yourself.

  • Who asked you to justify?

  • “This is not Photography”

    A very strange way of saying, I don’t understand these images.
    It’s always interesting seeing how Xenophobia manifests its self.

    On any measure this is photography. You don’t have to like, or truly understand every member of your family, but at the end of the day there is no denying the fact.

    These are layered, dense images infused with the authors intent.

    Is’t that what we are all chasing?

  • I’ll repeat my usual rant. If photography is anything the “artist” wants it to be, it becomes irrelevant.

  • “To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom.” –Joseph Beuys

    “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones…I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”–John Cage

    “Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest… Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home.”– Tibetan Book of the Dead

    “Own only what you can always carry with you; know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”-Solzhenitsyn, “The Cancer Ward”

    Photography is a scar….

    let noone thing otherwise…..

    we are left with scars, just as memory is a scar, and yet, foolish us, we thing of scars as somehow things which are ugly, which are things that should be hidden, things which we must cloak and cover and anestetize, and make soft and clean and gentle, and yet the scar are not ugly or horrid things, but we age and we grow and we disseminate and this that makes us US, the we of all things, the countenance of our age and beauty and life….age rings us, like a tree felled, we admire the lypses and ellipse of those rings on a tree, we know age through and by it’s time we place….

    it is funny to me that we hide, so often, those things which tell of the life we have lived, the rings, the crows nest, the droopy skin, the freckles, the lives and people that have accumulated, and yet, though they abound in nature, we hide and cloak them when it is about our lives….

    let me tell u a story….

    how is it that you hope to express a memory, a moment, a lineage of time and people an story that have made up the story of your life….once, when i was a young man, i stood in front of a green chalk board and looked at the scribbling that Beuys left upon a chalk board, as story as testament to the time he spent in a cold and damp woods, lost and breathing….i touched that chalked and felt, for a moment, i felt his life….how is it to speak of that which passed by and through his life….passed by and through all of our lives….

    vaniquishment, scars, joyeous detail….

    i have waited 6 months for this story to be shared….

    2 years ago, i showed Imants work, a friend who’ve i’ve known for 3 years, and watched as people sat before another of his esays…and i showed the work because, though this be his story, is there any other story but that, that we remember and hope, forlorn, to share with others…

    i’ve given up almost all my hope for work here, for people to, without prejudice or judgment, simply swallow work that wishes to speak of that which disappears, not the world recorded as pretty, but the world as ache, the world as celebrant joy, the world that carries all that tatoos and accumulates….

    how is it to speak, how is it to use this denutered language, as a way…..

    photography is a means of expression, a language that bridges that which is bereft of words, a language by which you can opposite the scars, seen as viscious by most, not as sadness but as eulogy of joy and as eulogy of the living….

    how is this different from Frank’s howl after the death of his daughter and son, how is this different from trying to capture the light and joy of that which passed before you….

    to be open to all, to be open to that, not which you cannot have but try to carriage with pretty things, but that which encorcells, that which is but an attempt….an attempt to speak of that which is unspeakable, or is hope-for-speak, but goes past our in-nimble words….

    all that matters is that we try, with awareness with recongition, with the joy, utter joy, of creation, to sing upon all that makes us the Who we are inside of that….

    I asked Imants to submit his work and that at least it is here, and that, for me, is a blessing….

    how is it that we can begin to speak of that which rings us, all that which makes us who we are, the scars which are not travesties, but glorious awakenings, breath-upon-breath, life-upon-life, death that has not dominion nor vanquishment, but glorious direction….

    i am happy because in the light of creation, understood or not, comes joy….suffered joy, no doubt, but testament….

    though we are mute, we rage against that in magical, alchemy and divination….

    now, i can leave Burn in peace….

    I am happy that a friend of mine has been been offered a chance to share a story, and this story, is a ring, and that ring is that same, that each of us knows, acknowledged or not, inside the swelling and expanding and evaporating of each of us…..

    to hold a hare next to skin, to share our lineage, to make sense of the senselessness, to plant that which was planted inside us prior….

    photography?….fuck photography….all we have is the alchemy of our lives and the awareness of how rich it breathes….


  • Imants,

    That is wild. Intense. Dense. Meticulous. Not the standard display here, but that’s OK. I’ve seen your work before, and although I wouldn’t strive to make images along the same lines as you, I’d love to be able to have the same quality of work at the end of the day. This is really strong work. Really glad I got to see it here.

  • Bob…

    You tend to take things very personally, don’t you?

  • Edgy, dark, original, densely-layered, symbolic collages that hint rather than explain, question rather than answer, create their own reality rather than reflect anyone elses. I am delighted to see this kind of work on Burn. This is the essence of creativity–to go places no one has gone before. BRAVO!!!


  • Jeeeezus.

    Don’t know what else to say. Watched it a few times now, same rapid-breathing tingly feeling – heh. Been a while since photography’s done that to me. That’s gotta be good, no?

  • loving the El Lissitzkyness and the Moholy-Nagyishness about them..but where’s the red :)

    very mature work, smart thinking to have them evolve, tho I think stumbling on the piece in one of those little mystery rooms in a museum would be the best venue with surround sound and all.

  • Erica…

    Evolve? Serious question. What evolved?

  • Michael K:

    i’ve known Imants for 3 years…and if i ‘make things personal’ it is only because work that, at least for me (is it not for you?), that speaks universally feels the most personal??….

    I am surprised at your reaction to me…

    well, do we not, each of us, ‘personalize’ the best and most authentic and most ‘personal’ work??..

    and work that speaks to us on a gut and human level, are we not supposed to react other than through our ‘personal
    ‘ reaction….

    work that speaks to me, always feels as if the work is speaking directly to that which ignites my own life…

    is this not the ‘miraculous’ in all that is best about life?….

    how else should i react?….cold, didactic, impersonal….

    and so (pick the photographer, pick the work, pick the picture) you’ve never felt, toward work that you like/respected felt:

    ‘that is the story that inhabits my life as well’ ??

    only for Imants, for both his work and our friendship, that i wish to return to write…

    but no more…

    ok, i’ve said more than enough…


  • Michael..they all did, in this: progress, advance; mature, grow, expand, spread; alter, change, transform, adapt, metamorphose

  • This is the sequence of dreams…or nightmares…or simply, as the thoughts race across and into our minds only to board the fleet on the way out again. Dark to light or light to dark, the impending doom weighs itself against the thoughtfulness between the exchange of these moments. Overall, I view this very optimistically as it is a very creative endeavor. Layers or reflections, photoshop or darkroom manipulation aside, the creative spirit of this undertaking speaks volumes. I just feel that the abruptness of its conclusion was a bit premature…I feel that Imants had more to say or show, and my curiosity is certainly struck. Congratulations on your publication here, Imants. Your way of thinking has me intrigued.

  • me it is sort of as if we are dealing with words that have different meanings when combined in certain ways..but that rely on our understanding of each reference..

    I imagine Imants have two sets of words here.

    He gives us ‘The bouncing red ball is a delight to small children.’ as well as ‘In the other room I can hear his crying.’ From there we get ‘Small red ball’ and ‘His other room’ and so on, ending up with ‘His delight is children.’

    Does that make any sense?

  • I get excited by these sorts of images. I love the abstract. I love the sub conscious nature that they projoke.
    Also, why should a photo essay, particularely here on BURN they we praise for being so gutsy, comment issue for example, only be one that gives an immediate resolution about what it is saying. MTV generation boring.
    Love your work Imants. and hang it on my wall. so many ways to interpret i think is fantastic

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    What a shame this comment thread has become about the limitations of one viewers idea of what photography must be and not about what the photographer thinks the medium can/could be. Without being clear, and being left to use one’s imagination, one might come to some conclusion, right or wrong, about what one has seen here. It is challenging, no doubt. And isn’t that desirable in looking at art in any form – to be challenged?
    Staying in the same place all the time, looking at the same views in the same way – in this way irrelevance becomes inevitable.
    Very interesting work, Imants. Thank you for bringing it here. Keep pushing. My five year old daughter was looking over my shoulder this morning as I was watching this, riveted. When it ended, she looked at me and said, “This scares me.” What more could one ask for?

  • Stupid Photographer

    Always stupidly love your work, Imants. It’s all yours, though I do think of Joel-Peter Witkin when I look at it. I’m not comparing apples and oranges, I’m just saying your work makes me think of his. And I mean that in a good way. But you knew that.

  • Understanding something linearly doesn’t have to impinge on enjoying something laterally. I have viewed Imants’ website a few times in the past two years, and am overjoyed to see he has finally turned around his “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” for the unconditioned public to view here on Burn.
    Shouldn’t photographic technique evolve, and isn’t this what we are seeing here? That is, technical evolution of the medium, not just the style.
    Even if you aren’t the type to play around in the Krumins sandbox, can’t you at least dip your toe in a bit? Don’t worry about understanding – just enjoy.
    It is interesting to see an artist’s collective work as a lens to uncovering his character; subject matter tells a lot. Our interests define our style, and we are defined by our style. That is the pull of this essay.

  • i didn’t particularly like the images themselves, but i like the fact that they at least made me think something and stir up some emotions within. the presentation was strong, though not to my taste.
    i think it’s great that Imants is doing his thing and sounding like he’s not giving a damn about what people think! i also think it was quite ballsy to put this piece up here too!
    looking forward to having a peek at Imants’ website to see what else his mind has developed!

  • The images are of a person down the street who I pass and chat to walking the dog, he lives in a half way house ……………poverty there is not about the bare physical necessities of life rather than the social poverty he finds himself in, something that our western societies specialise in. I am not sure if I would like to sit inside his head

  • Erica…

    Respectfully, I think we see the world (and art) with significantly different eyes. ;^}

  • Well… Seeing Imants work on Burn is something special, on many levels. After this, all of you should go and click that SUPPORT BURN thing, top right corner.
    I’ve seen his work many times before, but having this kind of work published here is a move to respect… for DAH. There is still hope…

  • Imants,

    I wish I had a vertical screen to appreciate this even more.
    Thanks for having a troubling (not troubled…) mind.

  • Imants,

    This essay is very interesting and curious for me.
    .. white memory…other dimension… external world….cold surgery…

    Thank you for very interesting works.

  • dark..
    contact sheets…

  • For those who can’t wrap their heads around this essay check out ONE EYE DREAMING in Imants portfolio.
    Some very nice work there.

  • Back in the early day’s of DOS I suspect it would be quite difficult express emotions likes this save for Hollywood special effects. Now I see this kind of work at the beginning of exciting fantasy games where you need the best graphics card to make them work the best. It’s not by accident that this approach is used at the beginning of games as it immediately captures your imagination and pries it open: it’s good way to initiate exploration.

    Personally, i love still images in multimedia presentations, I like how they stretch the paradox of information arrested in time, by offering it in a way that seems lucid and changing.

    Is this the future, is this one of the most exciting ways to release still images now? i sort of think so.

    i think presentations like this have always been appealing, but are pretty much impossible to do without looking cheep, cheesy, and amateurish. IMANTs is there a technology curve that’s happening right now that are allowing people to more easily make work like this happen? I appreciate you still have to have a stretched mind to conjure the vision, but is it becoming an easier to drag work like this out of your skull and onto a monitor?

    Good stuff by the way.

  • I will hit the technology bit first, this is a simple Soundslides application converted into quicktime, nothing special there. The images could be created using film, the darkroom and a photocopier. I did most of it digitally as it is quicker and I can use the wwworld to show them. So nothing out of the ordinary there.

  • john Stratoudakis

    If Imants creates these images from his hart, then yes, this is photography. But if these images are only manufactures then I am afraid that it isnt. In any case you know better Imants.

  • Imants,

    This slideshow is so so refreshing! Even if it is so so dark! :) Excellent stuff! Congratulation!


    I was sure you are not able to suprise me more, but You are and probably will for ever!! Soon you will say “the sun is not the sun because I say the sun is not the sun!”
    Jim the Powerful

    If for you this is not a photography please go to library, find a books with “history of photography” on title, maybe you will learn something about your own job or passion or hobby or whatever is for you photography.
    Of course you can call in question whatever you want. But if you want be treat a little more serious please visit a library.

    peace and love for the sun keepers.

  • The whole work stems from a phrase that we say everyday, “Ahh h I don’t know..” then the other person usually opens their mouth(mute) to respond ……. as for the rest blink and remember…………….

  • Man Ray, Alexander Rodchenko, Joel-Peter Witkin… isn’t that photography?

    Imants – congratulations for your troubling mind and sharp eye!

    David – thank you for this one!!!

    Many cheers to you all,


  • Imants – walking the dog? down the street? man, are you deep or you troubled? or deeply troubled? what’s your day job? Are you trying to fool people with perfect arrangements into thinking that this is the NEXT BIG THING(TM) or this releases your innards and has self-therapeutic powers ?

    I do not like this work. This is Psychotic. You must be tripolar.

    All with love and honesty.

  • I have watched it three times. In a loop. It’s very deep and it’s scary, gloomy and… refreshing. I like it a lot. Not sure what it is, but I won’t even try to judge this presentation – why should I? It moves me. A lot. That is what matters to me.

  • this essay sums up perfectly my earlier comment on buzz that to draw a line and say “no further!” is ridiculous.
    Good to see it here. encore.


  • An inside piece, then? “Woah, deep Dude, this is art, ain’t nobody gonna understand this stuff.”

  • Haik you have you met the Red Dwarf?

  • John Gladdy…

    Who said we should draw a line and go no further?

  • As stirring as ‘Hell’ (imagined)!! Brilliant!!! Complete and totally effective. May your mental journeys never end

  • “(in)complete and totally effective…”

  • Michael. The question was raised on buzz a while back in relation to manipulation of [RAW]images. Some people asked “where do you draw the line?”

  • Imants…

    You never did tell us what’s troubling your mind.

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    Draw the line. Then move the line. This has always been the process. Paint. Away.

  • Yes John. That was me. It was rhetorical. The discussion was about a photo that had been photoshopped and was disqualified from a contest. I thouhgt that was stupid. I was simply trying to spark a conversation about what’s OK and what’s not. I was not saying there should be a line that photographers cannot cross. You completely misread.

  • Michael they moved the goalposts as I kicked my soul around the boneyard………….ward 017 has been good to me. I hear they may let me out and back into the world next week…….anxious days

  • OK… I see. So it’s really that you want people to know you’re troubled… just don’t want to actually talk about it. And what better way to keep from having to talk about it then freely announcing you are troubled. Right?

  • Imants, i forgot to mention in my email….

    the direction connection to this:

    if u haven’t seen it yet….do so ;)))


  • Kinda of agree with Jim here.
    It’s art using photography to form part of the work, no solely photography. But I haven’t got a problem with that.
    For myself and probably Jim I guess these goes slightly beyond our own practice of photography, due to the level of alteration involved but that’s cool and respect to Imants for showing this.

    We set our own goal posts and lines in our work.

    On separate topic I came across this great essay by Paul Graham over at AmericansuburbX blog called “Photography is Easy, Photography is Difficult”
    I really recommend everyone have a read, it’s here:


  • I’ve been waiting a long time for work like this to appear here on Burn. Neither photography nor fine art need to fit into the rigid containers some followers insist upon. Creative expression refuses to be bound by such narrow interpretations. That is the nature of true creativity–its utter disregard of “rules.” The very fact that Imants’ work has so obviously pushed the buttons of some of our readers is a sign of its success.

    As for myself, if photography were as narrowly defined as our friend Jim declares, I would never have chosen it as my favored medium. It would have been way too restrictive and boring for my taste.


  • Thanks to all for having the time to lok at my photography(grin)……… next project “The Time Givers” return after their squirmish with “The trans-atlantic Riders”

  • And for some followers, it seems, there is no “art” that is unsuccessful. “Art” can only be good. There is no possibility of forced pretense or posturing. There is no room for disagreement otherwise “rigid containers” and “narrow interpretations” abound. ;^}

  • michael, that’s one of the problems I have with the direction photography is going. This “everything is good” philosophy when applied to photography devalues it and threatens to make it irrelevant. If random snapshots on the street, or dense art pieces like this, have the same value as DAH essays, then what’s the point?

  • Michael. What is successful? define.

  • Patricia used the word successful. Not me.

  • Peter, thanks for the link!

    Compulsory reading!!!



  • Jim Welcome to a post-modern world glad you could join us,

    seriously the methods used to make a work is totally up to the creator making it, photography has always been a broad canon, Man Ray has already been mentioned perhaps look at Alexander Rodchenko or some of the Chinese propaganda photography produced under Chairman Mao (there was a great show on at the Photographer’s Gallery in London about this Can anyone remember the name of the Chinese photographer?). The artists audience matters eg aiming straight photography for new documentary purpose makes the veracity of the image of utmost importance.

    But with Art aimed at an art audience, the methods matter less then then whether you like it, if you don’t like the art that’s cool but basing on opinion of the art, because of the the methods used to produce is a bit arse about face.

  • Imants,

    Your images disturbed me. I don’t know if I like or dislike but they attract me and definitely make me think about the rigid boundaries we are accustomed to create regarding photography and its interpretation.
    I like the way Patricia put it.
    I believe in the freedom of the author/artist. What he does, and how he does it, concerns only to him and the goals, targets, objectives, whatever you call it, that he has established.
    (Hope it’s clear what I am trying to say with my poor english)
    Now a couple of questions for you: What was your inspiration for this series? What is your purpose on this work, if there is a specific one?
    Anyway, you achieved something here!


  • Peter, the ultimate conclusion of “a post modern world” photographically is that everyone ends up talking only to themselves.


    Jim thanks for the compliment, but the essays you have seen of mine are only one kind of thing…yes, they do represent the “real me”, but the “real Imants” is someone else……why is this such a surprise??….why cannot Imants just be Imants?? as i have said many times, i am quite excited by work and by photographers who see the world different from me….i do not feel threatened, i am enlightened…i learn…i am piqued…and if you saw my new Dream Hotel slide show, i am sure it would not be to your liking…

    now Michael K. you have a point… certainly this does not mean that everything “experimental” or “non-traditional” or “arty” or whatever tag line you may have for what is out of your comfort zone necessarily has value…subjective work deserves the same scrutiny as the work from which it seeks to break away..that is of course a given….after one sees the 100th d’Agata imitator or Parr imitator , then that work becomes just as boorish as the photographer who is trying to be the new Jay Maisel…

    however, the conversation now is a good one imo….still, for the life of me i do not see why some seem to get quite literally angry with others for their point of view…we are just giving opinions….there is no resolution…there is no “right”….the beauty of photography to my mind is all that it reveals about the human psyche and spirit….the minute any of us locks down on any particular philosophy as “gospel”, then that will be the day that we die as a creative spirit…

    for me it is quite easy and natural to do what i do and then at the same time feel so refreshed when i turn around and see someone looking out a different window…i may go take a peek…i might not like what i see and go back to doing what i was doing…OR, as is man’s inherent nature, i might just learn something…not copy…but learn…put some new info in my psychological hard drive….chew on it….sleep on it.. breathe deep…what comes out later could well be different from what i was doing before, an honest evolution, but not copying what i have seen….a hybrid thought…a new vision…fresh air….we just cannot live without fresh air….

    the list of artists who were “talking to themselves” is a very long list indeed…Jim you are paid to “try to communicate” with your readers….and so so full assumptions of what “people want”…..the vision of most editors who then implore their photographers to “go get” what the “readers want” is only what the advertisers tell the editors the readers want…pictures that are not in conflict with the advertising that supports the publishing business…nothing wrong with that, but just please know that is the case….

    most artists are not “trying” to communicate at all…that is a very narrow vision of what fine music, art, literature and photography are all about…communication IS one function of photography, but certainly not the only one…

    Burn will continue to publish the traditional and the non-traditional and everything in-between from photographers who are truly committed to what they do…….

    as always gentlemen, many thanks for your time and your thoughts…

    cheers, david

  • Burn will continue to publish the traditional and the non-traditional and everything in-between from photographers who are truly committed to what they do…….

    I sure hope it does! Good, bad and all the other.

    Thanks for your comment on this. This is indeed a good conversation. Worthy.

    The late Jeff Porcaro once said of his “style” (paraphrasing here)… “I stole a little from John Bonham, a little from Jim Keltner, a little from Bernard Purdie and after that you hope something in you comes out that is yours.”

    So yes, even from Imants offering here, there is something to learn.


  • Imants – I find your work exceptionally powerful. I have been waiting for something as interesting as this to be shown on Burn ever since I started looking at the site. Is this photography? Of course. Photography is a means of expression. I make no judgement on Photoshop – I really don’t care. Photographs don’t show truth; they show choice. Some might want to depict the world as they imagine it to be ‘out there’ as ‘realistically’ as they might choose. Others might want to express the world ‘in here’. I understand your work as showing us ‘in here’ – it is a privilege to be allowed such access to this level of raw being. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that some are confused or anxious – they probably never go there.

    Amazing photography – well done Imants and Burn

  • Hi Jim,
    To take a guess it started being post modern (art) world since about the 1970’s (any Art historians here that know a bit more?) yet amazingly people today aren’t just talking to themselves photographically or otherwise. oh, where the conclusions of Postmodernism published I must have missed that memo?


  • Because of the monochrome treatment, it is very hard for me nto to see this work in the light that has been done before, in the last century. Not in subject, but in style/stance and manipulation.

    Personally, I do not believe there is much “new” in the way we make photos, or assemble them withina frame. Not a critique, btw. It’s what the artist does with what is in that frame (or on that wall, or sky, or whatnot…) and how this develops as a series or a body of work, that matters. On BURN, there is too much fascination , or discussion, on the means employed. A picture is a picture, period.

    Sometimes, I feel like many here (not you, Jim) only know “challenging” photography as it comes to appear BURN, as if until David started this blog, all photography had been about PJs, or straight shooters. Like Marcin said, there must be a library in your vicinity. Worth visiting…

    Imants, not sure what it’s about, and why I should be touched by it. I am reminded of what david said in his WS slideshows, that silence is approval. My own silence here is for just having walked across the threshold of your house, and waiting to be inside, spend some time with what you do, make sure this is art that comes from within, not just to be off. Still approving, not turning my heels back! ;-)

    I will read again, but very few here are talking about what you have been doing, or attempting, about what is in the picture, that they can grasp, and make something about it (or attempt too). Almost a berezina!!!

    Just to say it’s good such work is being shown on BURN, that it’s great to be challenged, well, yes, thanks for sharing this with us but if I was Imants, and serious about what I submitted, that wouldn’t do much for me as an artist. It’s more like a favorable critique on BURN and David’s large net vision than about what Imants did.


  • Exactly. I want to ask Imants to tell me what this work means? Should I have to ask him that question after viewing the piece?

  • Very strange pictures.
    Total rejection from me.
    Ziemlich abgefahren.

    Last weekend I went to the f-stop photo festival in Leipzig where the work “Mental Hospital” by Anders Petersen (Sweden) was shown. Imants images evoked the same strange creepy feeling I had, when I looked at Anders Petersen’s work. The comparison is a bit far fetched perhaps.

    Good to see provocative work here on burn!

  • I don’t care what it is about, or what you, Imants, wanted it to be about, to me it only matters that I can go in there and see/feel what *I* think it is about.. thanks!

  • Shock and horror seems to be what the self disturbed Immants is trying to convince us goes on in his troubled mind. It reminds me of historcal sites like castles and dungeons in London and the little videos and wax scenes greated in musty old museams to put the chills on kids. This stuff is not imaginative nor chilling nor boundry pushing, if you are trying to push the limits between your disturbed inner world and the manifestation of it in the outer world you should at least have had a good gawp at dali and Buñuel’s Andalusian Dog. From 1920’s this is still disturbing, it deals with real stuff. Stuff that lurks in us all. Art is not a divine understanding passed on through particular genes (or occular cults in Immants case). Artists that claim that their individuality and special awareness are the spearheads or their work fit within a fashionable trend currently rotting away at the genuine need for the artist to communicate to their audience on terms that are mutually inclusively defined. This i’m sorry though deals with nothing but how to indulge ones narcastistic ego. If you were honest enough to do a work about that, you would be appraoching art as I understand it.

  • Jim, didn’t you take an art or English class at some point, maybe in high school? “Hamlet” doesn’t *mean* anything. “Guernica” doesn’t *mean* anything. If you don’t like a work of art, can’t respond to it, are flummoxed by it, or are otherwise in distress about what it means, talking to the artist really isn’t going to help.

    Again, we have Jim asking the photog to justify himself to Jim. Do a little work on your own, Jim. Crunch a few brain cells.

  • Preston, actually my degree is in English Lit and History. But Hamlet actually does mean something.

    The photography certainly doesn’t have to justify his navel gazing to me. Just interested to know what the work is about to him.

  • Preston, and we have you asking Jim to justify himself to you. Please, let’s not go down that path.

  • Good lord. What’s with this “justifying” crap? Nobody is asking Imants to justify anything. An artist has put up an essay for critique. That’s what happens here at Burn. People are praised, criticised, questioned, ignored, defended by Bob ;^} … you know, whatever. That’s how it works.

    Yesterday, to his credit, Imants told David he wanted no restrictions on comments about his piece. If I remember correctly, he even was joking around about how much fun it’ll be that way! But one of his first responses was “I’m not going to justify!” To me that’s just a wonderful way of shutting down discussion.

    One last time… no one is asking anyone else to justify anything.

  • Okay, Jim. Tell me what Hamlet means.

  • Exactly. I want to ask Imants to tell me what this work means?
    If I may, not exactly what I said or meant. Just to take the time or desire to get more acquainted to what Imants is doing, and of course, any words is welcomed form him, but that soes not have to be what he “means”. It is not always for the artist to say or know that. yet, just like there were many keys to James Joyce’s novels, such work as Imants may need a little more familiarity or introduction (from him or someone else, but concrete, not just celebrating “rings” or I dunno what) to dwell in.

  • Herve, it it means nothing to the artist, why should I take the time to look at it?

  • Why do you assume it means nothing to Imants? You think he’s just jerking your chain?

  • Preston, it’s about maintaining moral integrity in a corrupt world.

  • No, Preston. I assume it means something to him. And I would be interested to know what that is.

  • For those that need an answer to be comfortable, as the audience you need to “stop” the slideshow and select the frames, some need to be reconstructed others deconstructed. For those that feel they need an answer,once you have completed that task you will have your photograph,

  • QCan’t see how the not justifying stalls conversation, some have asked me to do so……….. the piece is there you respond to

  • mmmh, interesting but in some way failing due to its “density”, imo… there is no direction but this result does not seem the truthful aim of the author…image/meaning layers are too thick, out of its obscurity you just grab a feeling, and this feeling reminds me of

  • I don’t think there is anything wrong with asking an artist what his work is about, but I wouldn’t anticipate and answer from most; still no reason not to inquire.

    Imants already said “The whole work stems from a phrase that we say everyday, “Ahh h I don’t know..” then the other person usually opens their mouth(mute) to respond ……. as for the rest blink and remember…………….”

    That’s a lot of information..

    For me the basic form of construction really isn’t that different from work that was being done with photography montage in the 1920s and 30s.. Hoch (as an exapmle: or as i said before from el lissitzky (
    or Moholy Nagy ( (collected as photographs)

    I don’t understand the reason for concern that Imants’ work is threatening to photography, crossing a line, etc..he could be doing this in the darkroom, or with glue at his kitchen table, just as was done 80 years ago or so…

  • Herve, it it means nothing to the artist, why should I take the time to look at it?

    Having a senior moment, Jim? what the work means and what it means to the artist are 2 different things. Picasso never deigned to explain what his paintings were about, yet, take a look at Guernica, and see that it is a meaningful work, and with no doubt than that meaningfulness was why Picasso painted it.


  • closer to us. My 4th of July shot with the saxophone player. It only means to me that I saw something and went right there to shoot it, rather than not To Patricia, it means the san Francisco she misses (which I can’t, since I live here).

    I am sure Imants has no problem if the work means something ele to us than to him, and that we wouldn’t even be curious what it means to him. Yes, I’d be more curious in a bit of an analytical description (especially, since some frames go so fast I can’t see them well, or are way too dark), than what it means to Imants. When I read critical work on a photo, the writer always starts with describing the picture, sometimes throroughly. With Imants’s, I can’t so far, and no one else has tried.

    Guernica was actually a wrong example, since we hardly need to know what it is about what it means.

  • Just don’t agree with this, Herve. It’s what the artist himself sees that interests me. I already know about my own demons.

  • Apologies for all the typos and mistakes.

    Actually,I am utterly tired of “sending” posts without proof-reading them. seems a deep-seated problem with me. Ridiculous…

  • It’s what the artist himself sees that interests me.

    OK, fine. you told us you have much modern art around you, on your walls, etc…
    Do you have for each one of them what it really means to the artist? And do you hang it, keep it, and/or enjoy these works only if you have that information from the artist?

  • JIM

    did you see my 3 links? What do you think about Imants’ approach in light of this work?

  • 1. Why are people, JIM this is directed maninly at you, but not only, breaking the one post rule under the essay? I waited until Jim violated this rule and it did not take long. You seem to have no respect for Burn and no respect for David.

    2. Jim, why should we all be like David Harvey? Not that it would be a bad thing to be DAH but why should all photography look the same? This could be changed to why should we all shoot like _______, fill in any name here depending on your tastes. This isnt just a post modern thing either with photography branching out beyond the so-called classical aesthetic you seem to like. Photography long ago branched out. It’s not a recent thing, it’s photographic history from guys like Man Ray to Gibson, from Harvey to Adams, from Parr to Shore. There was blurry and grainy before you were born. There was heavy photoshopping before anyone even thought of inventing a computer. What you like is not what I like, what I like is not what Imants likes, what Bob likes is probably not what Herve likes. Variety is good, except deep in the texan backwoods.

    3. As far as this essay, I just didnt like it. for a number of reasons, but primarily because I just couldnt make out the images. Too black, too dark, it seemed like there were 2 or 3 images repeating. Maybe it’s my com[uter, though I doubt that.

  • Imants requested that there be no moderation (one post rule) for his essay..

  • IMAAAANTS , comeout side into the sunshine and watch the cricket? , I’m allways interested in any artist who shows that there’s a dark side to the Australian experience , I just don’t think that the web is doing you justice but I’m thrilled to see darker more malevolent work on Burn …Cool!

  • Herve, all of the abstract art I’ve bought over the years has come from artists I’ve met and talked to about their art. It is important to me to know what the artist was thinking when he produced the piece. I’m pretty selective.

  • Rafal, Imants,

    I have the same problem with not being able to make out the images very well. Too dark on my monitor too.

    It’s taken me a while to figure out how I feel about this one. I’m a pretty simple literal guy, but can usually get into some fairly out there stuff. This is pretty out there for me Imants. I’m not sure what to make of it. I found the music irritating, too obvious, “scary, heavy, deep”, I’m being beaten over the head with it.

    However, it’s a fascinating peek through the window into your head, and good on ya for giving it to us. I have had a peek in the past via your website and have never been sure what to make of it. Maybe that is a good thing.

    I am curious about your intent. Intent, I believe, is crucial. Art pieces do not just happen, there has to be some reason for making this happen. The piece is giving me only the slightest hint at what that might be. No-one else has offered any guess about what the piece is about either. Most comments have just been pretty vaque, or defences of artistic freedom.

    So I’m left scratching my head, along with pretty much everyone else I suspect.

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    Breaking, here, the one post rule but this discussion is important; perhaps one of the most important here that I’ve read in a while, though I’m a bit new to this site.
    The fact that the work is dark and not easily read imparts something that the viewer must take in. Repeating images, darkness, obscurity – these are by choice. To like the work or not like the work is a right and it is also immaterial to the work and to its author. The conversation that has arisen out of responding to the work is, I believe, the essential discussion that comes of viewing something that confounds standard tastes and pushes the limits of the ‘acceptable’. I for one love that confounding and that pushing.
    I dont need to know the particulars of this visual event, the ‘story’ if you will. But I can accept simply entering into the act of viewing it that I will not get all the answers and may even compound my questions. But I did get an ‘sense’ or a feeling of what was happening; that came through so clearly in a way that a literal ‘telling’ – clear, focussed images – might not have. I’m comfortable confusion and I happy to come to this site for a dose of it from time to time. Relevance revealed.

  • The one post rule was waved for this essay.

    What is the “sense or feeling of what was happening” that you got from it. People are talking all around what they “receive” from viewing this, but nobody will say what that is. Are you simply trying to sound “deep” and “knowing,” or did it actually mean something to you?

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    The sense will certainly be different for myself than for you. But specifically, in no particular order, this: institution, insanity, obscurity, oppression, disassociation, imposed solitude…… For a start.

    I assure you I have no pretensions of depth or a knowing any more profound than another’s and I dont believe I was attempting to come off that way, Mr. Powers. I accept your discomfort with work that is outside the usual. It isn’t easy to embrace sometimes, I admit. I would simply offer that instead of rejecting an unusual form and a non-traditional telling, being more open to possibilities within a given medium and trying to find what is there as opposed to finding what is not might be a more fruitful approach. Someone made this; someone with real human sensibilities, an eye, a mind and a creative urge constructed this that we might look and experience it.
    And so I would ask you what you asked of me – dropping all your prejudices against the form, what did you feel when you looked at this work? What came across?
    My own 5 year old daughter, as I wrote here previously, watched this with me; she was captivated by it. When it ended, her exact words were, “This scares me.”
    Isn’t that great?

  • Sculpture major that’s what the piece of paper says



  • H.P Lovecraft….
    Although as a kid i started with J.Vern soon ( after Poe & Kavafis ) i discovered H.P..
    Soon i graduated to F.Nietzche and finally ( obviously )..:)).. i stopped reading alltogether :)………..
    Twenty years later.. somewhere in west pico blvd santa monica,ca…
    i saw a little bookstore… a book grabbed my attention..
    it was rocker “Marylin Manson’s”biography…
    i saw those photos………..

  • …someone mentioned a 5 year old kid that got so “captured” in the slideshow..
    It is really like the beginning( titles ) of a goth style videogame, but as i
    already visited the website earlier…i saw more..its more than a videoclip,
    a chapter of H.P’s book… i liked the “Bones of Times”, i have to like this..
    Its a movie.. a silent movie…
    simply the artist here is “full” and wants to give… He is “expressing” himself as
    fast and accurate as his mental condition allows him to..
    The whole website is worth watching… Bravo Imants for your obssessive work and
    efforts… all that didnt happen in a day… you are a sensitive case…
    Now if i liked it personally?
    oh who cares…thats not the point…
    peace y’all…;

  • It is important to me to know what the artist was thinking when he produced the piece.
    Thanks Jim. At least, here, you do not make a blanket statement that should apply to all.

    My response for me would be “depends”. Basically, here, from anyone of us “emerging”, I am more interested first in being shown work that can stand for itself without going too much in depth concerning what it means to the author. Eventually, a curiosity about it may develop, with further work, further interest for that photographer.

    It is still nice to have a few pointers what the world might be about, but as I wrote, it could be unveiled by anyone, doesn’t have to be the photographer. Especially since I have been one to be rather critical of the personal texts under the essays.

  • what the work might be about….

  • Jim weave your demons into the work……….. I am sure it won’t mind and I would like to hear/ see the results.

  • Dark…….heck guys I spent a fair bit of time with stonemasonary and building nooks and crannies as a landscaper, lots of dark places there. AS teenagers we used to take the girls down to the “Darkies” but that is a different story.(on some monitors it is darker than others)

    Jamie you and your daughter seem to see the work better than most.

    Maybe if your lucky Bob(he has a set) will give some insight into the prints that go with the work……..

    I have no problems with people making what they want with the work, Intent is very different to result as intent usually evolves int something else. I have the process of this work fairly well documented visually, most is irrelevant now but I may recreate it as a visual verbal along with the comments here and elsewhere.

  • I think it’s fair to ask an artist to talk about their work and their motivations. People can view a peice of art seperate from everything, and have their own emotional response to the work and relationship with it. But there is nothing wrong with then wanting to know how the artist views his or her work.

    An artist (in the art market/gallery context) is expected to be able to talk about their work and why is is important or meaningful. Picasso talked about his work (for starts see, Bacon talked about his work (there are some interviews on tape as well as in books).

    Art is about communication, and if someone doesn’t get it then which is better, for the artist to try and explain to the person their view on the work or for the artist to say, “if you don’t get that’s tough”?

    I am one of those that likes to not only have my opinion of a piece but to hear the creator talk about their work so hopefully I would get a deeper understanding of the work then if I just viewed the work based on my background and expereinces.

  • This slideshow is not really interessant, but enough to push me to visit his website….and there….are amazing and really strong works!! Thanks for such a real discovery! it make my day!

  • Haunting. The imagery and music remind me of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film ‘Stalker’, and the computer game of the same name from some years ago.

  • Oh I don’t know, hearing an author explain their work can just suck all the mystery out of it, close off many paths of potential thought. Would I want to listen to Hemingway or Fitzgerald describe exactly what they are saying with their work? I’d rather discover my own truths, or experience my own response, enjoy the ponder of it in the spaces between rather than to be told, “this, this is the truth, here, here and here” gutted and filleted like a frog in a dish … Personal preference.

  • Yep, ask me and you’d probably get “Ahh h I don’t know..” then the other person usually opens their mouth(mute) to respond ……. as for the rest blink and remember…………….” :))

  • Peter Cleghorn

    Picasso talked about his work

    I am always befundled why people can’t read exactly what others write. Especially, when they write it as precisely as possible as I did. Peter, I never said Picasso did not speak about his work, I wrote:

    Picasso never deigned to explain what his paintings were about.

  • Whenever I’ve been asked to explain what my art and/or photographs mean, I want to say–and sometimes do–if I could have put it into words, I would have. You are seeing an image precisely for that reason.


  • Stuff as…………

    By 1998 I tired of producing artwork, I couldn’t see the point of producing artwork that is placed on the wall. Mind you this has never been an important aspect of my artmaking even though most of the time the artwork eventually takes a physical form it’s relevance is usually lost by that stage. There has always been an underlying thing that process and production and involvement is more important than the work, this unfortunately too many times it excludes the audience.

    Residing in Asia I encountered Chinese calligraphy books once again and saw them as a nice path of creating visual narratives. Thus I embarked on a series of work called “etrouko”. The series name etrouko is a combination of the words trout and gecko. The trout embodies aspects of my Western cultural upbringing, which was as a “displaced Latvian” something that was dear and close to my parents and the gecko is about life in Australia/Asia. I lived through the usual trials and dilemmas of a migrant child peering out at our adopted society Australia from the safe “Latvian” confides of my parents backyard.

    The books are presented as an installation in a random order as they reflect general a “in the head” experience that is not static and tied to a rigid formula . There was/is a book one and they may be viewed individually in a chronological order of completion if one desires, book four

    Etrouko the book series is still an ongoing artwork as well as being the backbone of some of my recent work (2008-) The upcoming book “no me saques sin razon” closely aligned to the original series of books and currently it exists as a slide show and is only viewed via the net. There is a chance that it may remain that way and evolve with older versions continually discarded and replaced by a new one

    Work prior to the 1999, has been either discarded or is being re appropriated into the etrouko series. Eventually all work prior to the 1999 will probably no longer exist in its original form, whether this is a good or bad thing I’m not sure but it sits comfortably with me.


    i wrote a long long comment this morning, which has never materialized…weird….so, well…that’s karma…but, i tried imants to both talk about the work, but also about the pitching of others to get you to speak (a silly request)…anyway…sorry….now, im too pooped to write…

    sending u across-the-pond hugs

  • You are seeing an image precisely for that reason.

    You got me, here, Patricia. You have very substantive texts under many of your pictures on Pbase.

  • I do mean that if one is of the opinion the/a picture needs no text, the best is really to leave it (the picture) alone, I’d think.

  • Stuff as…………

    By 1998 I tired of producing artwork, I couldn’t see the point of producing artwork that is placed on the wall. Mind you this has never been an important aspect of my artmaking even though most of the time the artwork eventually takes a physical form it’s relevance is usually lost by that stage. There has always been an underlying thing that process and production and involvement is more important than the work, this unfortunately too many times it excludes the audience.

    Residing in Asia I encountered Chinese calligraphy books once again and saw them as a nice path of creating visual narratives. Thus I embarked on a series of work called “etrouko”. The series name etrouko is a combination of the words trout and gecko. The trout embodies aspects of my Western cultural upbringing, which was as a “displaced Latvian” something that was dear and close to my parents and the gecko is about life in Australia/Asia. I lived through the usual trials and dilemmas of a migrant child peering out at our adopted society Australia from the safe “Latvian” confides of my parents backyard.

    The books are presented as an installation in a random order as they reflect general a “in the head” experience that is not static and tied to a rigid formula . There was/is a book one and they may be viewed individually in a chronological order of completion if one desires.

    Etrouko the book series is still an ongoing artwork as well as being the backbone of some of my recent work (2008-) The upcoming book “no me saques sin razon” closely aligned to the original series of books and currently it exists as a slide show and is only viewed via the net. There is a chance that it may remain that way and evolve with older versions continually discarded and replaced by a new one
    Work prior to the 1999, has been either discarded or is being re appropriated into the etrouko series. Eventually all work prior to the 1999 will probably no longer exist in its original form, whether this is a good or bad thing I’m not sure but it sits comfortably with me.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  • makes me think of the metamorphosis by kafka. there is a sense of abandonment, disorientation and surrendering

  • Imants you are a great Sport…

    this is the music i hear when i see your photos,,,
    you are trying to look and sound “deep”… but i can see through you…

  • and this…

    but who wants this? when i have plenty of CASH in my pocket?

  • pretense,
    fake aesthetics …lies…

    see the truth below…CASH..

    ok… enough of that…

  • ok… one last… so u dont think im just destructive…

    use your photos as a TOOL….
    example below:

  • I liked this, Imants; it’s like Kafka with pictures.

  • Decided to turn towards 117º back to the boneyard

  • now that was a while ago

  • I see I’m not the only one who wonders round the Burn library :-).

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