Originally a lifestyle and fashion photographer, in 1997 Estonian artist Mark Raidpere turned his attention to art. Raidpere’s work is an in-depth study of his own biography. He directs his camera first and foremost at himself and his family. Marginality, urban violence and street life are also recurrent themes. Since 2001 Raidpere has worked chiefly as a filmmaker. His films deal with man’s inner struggle, sexuality, his loneliness and tragic fate.
video, sound, 8’
The video 10 Men consists of static shots of ten inmates at a prison in Estonia as they pose for the camera. At times the editing and use of slow motion brings them alarmingly close. The dangerous-looking criminals, with their muscular bodies, tattoos, broken noses and shaven heads, are objects of fear for the observer, but they also provoke our pity and empathy. They pose and flex their muscles – almost sensually - while a soundtrack of a simple, melancholic lullaby arouses a feeling of oblivion, making the prisoners seem vulnerable. It raises the question of whether they are brutal criminals or victims of society.