Grimaces of the Weary Village.
1976 – 2001.
Photographs by Rimaldis Viksraitis.
Anya Stonelake/White Space Gallery, 2010. 80 pp., 47 black & white illustrations, 11¾x8¼".
“Rimaldas Viksraitis is a Lithuanian photographer who works in and around the villages where he lives, and photographs a way of life that is fast disappearing. In his world, any apparent dysfunctionality, propelled by liberal drinking of home brew, appears to be an asset because people seem to be having such a great time. He goes to parties, he sits and drinks and talks with his subjects. Their lives are not overcome by the gadgets of modern day life, which so often eradicate any meaningful communications between families. You can tell he is enjoying himself and at ease with his subjects. Viksraitis's sitters also seem to enjoy taking off their clothes. I assume this helped by the home brew and rather warm temperatures, or perhaps they are all having frequent sex?
Against this backdrop, numerous animals seem to be part of daily life. They surreally pop up everywhere; they too seem to fit in effortlessly. They share the family's domesticity with the greatest of ease.
The resulting images, displayed (or published) here are slightly insane and wonderfully surreal. They are quite compelling, and if I spoke Lithuanian, I would love to join in the party. However as this will never happen, Viksraitis provides us with a ring side seat, with all the emotion, the drink and the ensuing madness.”
-Martin Parr, November 2008
Read Colin Pantall's review of Grimaces of the Weary Village in photo-eye Magazine.