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Void, folk and trash – Exhibitions in Tallinn

This week my time management skills failed on me as I didn´t manage to post on Tuesday as intended. I was writing Arts Council England fund application instead. It is for one project, which is planned for the end of February 2016, but I will write about that a bit later.

Last week I came back from a really intense trip in Tallinn. I met the artists who I am going to work with for my next exhibition and had several meetings regarding the 17th Tallinn Print Triennial (more about that a bit later as well). Tallinn is my birth home and therefore I did post a bit more emotional blog post last week about Home. But this week I would like to share some thoughts on exhibitions which I did manage to see (although quite rushed, unfortunately).

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Time Lapse, Tallinn Art Hall, 8.10 – 8.11.2015

Curator: Anna Laarits. The exhibition has been commissioned and produced in the context of Tallinn Photomonth 2015. Here is the press release of the exhibition.

The exhibition, which is part of the main programme of Tallinn Photomonth, focuses on how photography impacts our perception of time through the connections and contradictions between the experience of its fluidity and momentary interruptions to the passage of time. A  photograph could give importance to small increments of time we might not always be aware of. Excerpt from the press release.

Usually when I walk in to Tallinn Art Hall, I find myself in the middle of a large quantity or large scale art. This time I pretty much knew that there will not be a large quantity of art (if one can measure the artistic value this way at all), because I was already told that this exhibition has received some really bad feedback and that some visitors have even demanded their ticket money back. I thought, wow – I have to see this. It has been quite a long time since I heard that kind of reaction for an art show in Tallinn. But once I entered the gallery I was absolutely mesmerized.

What is to be seen on a photograph is not the thing itself, but the volume it occupies during the time-interval of exposure. Excerpt from the text published on the occasion of the exhibition.

The exhibition could be described with the word VOID and I mean (breathing) space. Artworks communicated with the space they were presented creating a wholeness. I was especially impressed with the art work by Daniel Gustav Cramer, Talia Chetrit, Ats Parve and Maanantai Collective. The exhibition was well curated and designed as the end result was something completely different what I have every seen in Tallinn Art Hall. It is very interesting to see new approaches to present photography.

Artists: Talia Chetrit (US), David Claerbout (BE), Daniel Gustav Cramer (DE), Moyra Davey (CA), Haris Epaminonda (CY/DE), Alicja Kwade (PL/DE), Maanantai Collective (FI), Jüri Okas (EE), Ats Parve (EE/DE) and Agnie szka Polska (PL/NL).

 

Folk Psychedelics. Urmas, Sohvi and Anna Viik. Tallinn Art Hall Gallery. 23.10 – 15.11.2015

“When folk and professional artistic kitsch meet on the art landscape, the result may be alluring and valuable, for becoming familiar with it as a new exciting territory. When folk and professional artistic kitsch meet in the media, the result is mostly simply idiotic. When folk and  professional artistic kitsch meet at the level of political power, it tends to be criminal” excerpt form the press release of the exhibition.

Urmas Viik was my professor during my studies in the Estonian Academy of Art and this exhibition is his collaboration with his daughters. I think that if I didn´t know who the artist of this exhibition is, I would have suspected Urmas Viik, because this is so ´him´. His work is heavily inspired by Estonian national patterns, but with a ´twist´. I like Urmas´ quote above, because it really explains the nature of his work.

 

TRASH 2, NEOEKSPREPOST, Tallinn City Gallery, 17.10–01.11.2015

As name refers this is a sequel to the first TRASH exhibition in 1993 by artist group Neoeksprepost. The exhibition does exactly what is says on a tin – presents art of/from trash. However I am more intrigued by the concept of the artist group. And here I would like to quote another excerpt from the press release:

The group, which composed its name from the prefixes of the styles of art history, presumes the freedom to reuse old styles (neo) and be both expressive and experimental, to be ahead (pre) and behind (post) the times. The artists have a free hand in this exhibition, the only limitation is thechoice of materials: discarded items are recycled, re-invented.

Apparently the group was founded in 1988 and exists till nowadays. It is a group without a broad platform, with no permanent members, thematic of form-related limitations. This kind of description might imply to total chaos in my book, but at the same time, I am obsessed with organising.

Result of this artist group is an exhibition, and to be honest, visually I really enjoyed the whole installation and it carries a very vivid idea of over-consumption. The only thing which was missing was the unity of the whole installation, although Andro Kööp states clearly in his interview that ´this is not a collaborative exhibition´, but then I start to wonder why is this exhibition then installed? Maybe just to show consumed trash. Or maybe I just find it difficult to relate with this type of art, because of my slightly OCD nature.

Artists: Urmas Puhkan, Sorge, Ionel Lehari, Andro Kööp, Ivar Kaasik, Paol-Mario Ving, Taavet Vool, Siim Aimla, Maarja Ruut, Max Fresenberg (DE), Ekstra Hölderlin (TH), Hannes Aasamets, Henrik Rakitin, Johann-Aleksander Kööp and Mark Antonius Puhkan.

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