“Ivars Gravlejs (b.1979) is one of the best known Latvian photographers of his generation, often working with the aesthetic of everyday objects in an ironic way.
"Shopping Poetry" is an ongoing series that Gravlejs has started in 2012 in the German town of Schoppingen, and continues to make to this day. In the process of making the artworks Gravlejs quite literally goes shopping and then, at the cash till, arranges his objects of desire in such a manner, that afterwards the receipt can be read as a poem.
In our opinion, the artworks from these series comment on the poetics of the quotidien, while reflecting the temporal quality of photography as a medium. The objects that are portrayed themselves are products of a particular time and society. Moreover, when juxtaposing them with the receipts that might fade with the passage of time, one can observe not just the fun side of the text (that does have a dadaist poetic quality), but also a kind of “momento mori” quality of traditional nature-morte. As well, these artworks tell us about the intimate nature of shopping as a process, turning the content of a shopping basket into a portrait.
The artworks on show are all unique pieces, exhibited for the first time. Continuing the playful nature of Gravlejs oeuvre, careva contemporary assigns a price to each artwork that is 100 times that of the each particular receipt. In such a way winking at the often arbitral price creation in contemporary art market.”