The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, March 30, 2015


Amalias Street 5a by Inta Ruka on View at Moderna Museet
Inta Ruka, Rihards Stibelis, Riga, Latvia 2006 © Inta Ruka.

STOCKHOLM.- On the outskirts of Riga lies Amalias Street 5a, a house whose tenants have been documented by photographer Inta Ruka since 2004. The photos are presented, as in all Inta Ruka’s projects, together with short comments based on what the individuals have told her. The comments are about why they live the way they do, who they know, what they do for a living or want to become, their economy and family situation. In fact, the series is about the big questions – about happiness, sorrow, love and hate – about life.

Inta Ruka was born in Riga in 1958 and started photographing in the late 1970s. After a few years, in 1983, she embarked on the series My Country People, which she has pursued up until 2000, documenting people and life in her native region, Balvi, in eastern Latvia near the Russian border. The result was a collection of portraits of her relatives and friends and of a vanishing rural culture. Inta Ruka photographs without artificial light, using a Rolleiflex camera on a tripod. In long sittings while waiting for the right light, she gets people to relax by talking to them and trying to get to know them and the setting she is about to portray. My Country People represented Latvia at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999 and was Inta Ruka’s major international breakthrough.

Inta Ruka says that she takes photographs because she is interested in people. The camera is her way of making contact with others. This is why she has worked on developing the art of the photographic portrait. Her vision is to reveal each individual, their personality, and to show that everyone has their own special place and something to tell. Inta Ruka is a vital contributor to the Baltic contemporary photography that related and adapted to the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 90s and then documented the changes in the region during the post-Soviet era. The key to Inta Ruka’s imagery is her own self. She has a unique ability to communicate and to get people to open themselves to her. Her skill also lies in inspiring confidence in herself and her work.





Today's News

December 30, 2008

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to Open Kees Van Dongen: A Fauve in the City

National Gallery of Art to Show Corot to Monet Next Summer

Max Ernst in the Garden of Nymph Ancolie on View at the Menil Collection

Setting the Stage: Twentieth-Century Theater Models on View at Bruce Museum

Carnegie Museum of Art to Open Matsubara: A Celebration in Pittsburgh in 2009

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center Founder and Director Alanna Heiss to Retire

Amalias Street 5a by Inta Ruka on View at Moderna Museet

Elo: Inner Exile - Outer Limits on View at MUDAM in Luxembourg

Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play to Open at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

MoMA Presents the Films of Terence Davies from the Museum's Collection

Antony Gormley to Exhibit at Kunsthaus Bregenz in Summer of 2009

Martin Frommelt: Early and Recent Paintings on View at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

Fuller Craft Presents Only East Coast Exhibition of Craft in America-Expanding Traditions

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts to Open China! China! China in February

Merseyside Maritime Museum Opens New Titanic Wreck Exhibits

Fresno Art Museum Shows Theophilus Brown: Paintings

Free Gallery Talk at the Clark Explores Musical Group on January 8

The Writing of Modern Life: The Etching Revival in France, Britain, and the U.S., 1850-1940

The Romance of the Rose: Visions of Love in Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts

Postal Service Previews 2009 Commemorative Stamp Program

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