In his video work Pae St. Playlist, Mark Raidpere goes for a jog along his childhood paths, heading from his former home on Pae Street towards Ülemiste, then runs around the Dvigatel Stadium and back along Majaka põik. Instead of energetic music, his playlist consists of interviews with his mother and father on various topics in life, such as Mark’s birth, their first home, moving to another home and joy. It is interesting to notice how differently his father and mother remember the important days in their lives together: according to the former, they arrived home from the maternity hospital on a sunny day, while the latter remembers a cloudy sky and light drizzle.
A large part of Raidpere’s work deals with his relationship with his parents and home with uncompromising frankness. The responsibility of an artist-documentarian to his trusting loved ones is a sensitive and controversial topic.
According to Hanno Soans, Raidpere’s works are characterised by the strong tension between private and public, natural and staged, random and representative. When confronted with the intimate details of someone’s personal relationships, I can feel the questions of consent, the power dynamics between the artist and the person captured and even privacy creeping in. However, with Raidpere’s works, there is never the sense that he is trying to tell his parents off or somehow publicly “grill” them in an art gallery. Just as much as we learn from their mistakes, we hear about their interest and love for their son. Personal relationships are infinitely versatile and complex; the people involved in them are imperfect, but rarely malicious.