The Aija Bley installation “Pool” is a story about the factory workers, their fates and lives after the collapse of the Soviet Union until nowadays, leading their lives being a part of European Union. According to the statistical data, in 1990 there were 255 large factories in operation in Riga, the capital of Latvia, but along with the economical and political collapse they were shut down one by one, and more than 194 300 workers lost their jobs. Most of them have never coped with the new economic situation until the very present day.

On her way to work on August 21th, 1991, Valeria experienced a strange anxiety, and upon leaving her house could do no more than sit down on the nearby bench. She sat and watched the pool, which had no water in it any more. For as long as she could remember there had always been water in the pool. But on that day it had suddenly disappeared. She sat and thought of the 54 years of her life, and of the fact that in a year’s time she would retire and will be able to sit and stare like this every day. The only thing to trouble her was the missing water in the pool. In the evening her husband came home from work. He sat down next to his wife and told her that the Soviet Union had collapsed, and that the factory would be closed. “I knew something was wrong”, said Valeria, “I had a bad feeling all day long. And then there was all that water, missing in the pool...” And so they sat and sat, and are still sitting there to this very day.

The video installation “Pool” consists of two photographic documentary video tracks and a soundtrack.

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