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Ieva Raudsepa – Cruise


CRUISE is a story about coming of age. An overnight ferry ride from Riga to Stockholm turns into a metaphor for the transitional space between being a teenager and becoming an adult. Youth is a fleeting phenomenon that is both painful and beautiful, just like the contrast between the trashy interior of the ferry and the beauty of the sea. Trips on the ferry evoke a sort of nostalgia for the present that will soon be past—the sea surrounding the party is magnificent, but it is also a vast nothingness, ready to just swallow us up. Connecting Eastern and Western Europe, the ferry is popular among young people. Tickets are cheap and it’s a good way to get away from their parents’ and let themselves go. The ferry provides all kinds of entertainment — karaoke, an evening show with a flamboyant dance performance, gambling halls, a lottery, and a disco hall. The subjects of the photographs are people of Ieva’s age — youth from the Baltics, born in the beginning of the 90’s right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her peers and Ieva herself are the same age as the newly independent country of Latvia. They never experienced Soviet times, but grew up between its legacy and the promise of a future Western model of a society. On the ferry narratives of past and present identity are intertwined; the entertainment is sort of cliché and sometimes absurd but its very banality mirrors the awkwardness of what it means to be very young and living in a state of both personal and societal transition.

Ieva Raudsepa received an MFA from the California Institute of Arts this year. In her work she uses mainly photography, video and text, focusing on the liminal state between East and West, youth and growing up. Has received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Latvia, has taken part in various ISSP masterclasses. Her work has been exhibited at the Calvert 22 Foundation in London, Riga Photomonth, ISSP Gallery, published in i-D, YET, The Guardian, Wallpaper, Latvian Photography Yearbook, and elsewhere. The book dummy for CRUISE was shortlisted for the Unseen Dummy Award in 2016, and has been included in group shows including Self Publish Riga (2017), Gazebook (2017), and Fotobok Gbg (2017).   

This is a first edition of 300 copies. Published by Milda Books in Latvia and designed by HOMI – Lea Michel and Christian Hofer, based in Switzerland and Germany.

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