Bita Razavi’s ongoing project Museum of Baltic Remont is composed of documentation of what may appear to be a mundane task. Over the last three years, she has been renovating an abandoned house in the Estonian countryside and an apartment in Tartu. What sets her construction apart is her fascination with and scrutiny of the various materials that have been used to repair homes in the Baltic region throughout years of changing economic and political situations. The materials that were used during the Soviet era to insulate and renovate these houses have been collected and preserved as if they were samples for an anthropological research study. Following on from of her earlier works in which she documented the common traits of Finnish and Iranian households, Razavi has now built a commemorative scientific installation to showcase the invisible building materials that many people in the Baltic region live amongst. She employs the absurd form of a national museum to explore the agency and role of such museums in construction of national identity and creation of a shareable narrative for the masses.
Bita Razavi (b. 1983) born in Tehran, lives and works between Helsinki and Estonian countryside. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Tehran University of Arts and holds a Masters in Fine Art from Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Razavi’s practice is centred around observations and reflections on a variety of everyday situations. She examines the inner workings of social systems in relation to the political structures of various countries and national events of historic proportions. Razavi reacts to and explores the agency of objects and systems as they act upon her and as she documents and records them.
Bita Razavi has exhibited her work at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 1st Trondheim Biennale, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki Photography Biennale, Helsinki Design Museum, Videobrasil, SESC Pompeia, Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Göteborg International Biennal for Contemporary Art, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kalmar Art Museum and Latvian National Museum of Art. In 2017 Razavi received the Oskar Öflund Foundation’s grand prize.
Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova (LV/NL)
The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and by the city of Tartu, TYPA centre (formerly The Estonian Print and Paper Museum), Frame Finland, Kone Foundation, Nordic Culture Point and KUMA Brewery.
Thanks to: Toomas Lasmann, Mart Paadik, Armin Luik, Marge Monko, Tanel Rander, Mara Jelinko, Lauri Laanisto, Malle Käärik.
Blending the heraldic with the optical, August Krogan-Roley’s Empty Coats each present themselves as a pictorial game. Littered with cues – winding roads to follow, carved out recesses to occupy, and barriers mounted to intrusive vision – they stem from the artist’s ongoing interest in the compositional mechanics of world-building. One of the strongest influences upon this body of work is the organisation of pictorial space found in medieval coats of arms. In particular, carved stone artefacts in the Raidkivimuuseum (Carved Stone Museum) in Tallinn have exerted an important influence on the development of this body of work, although any reference to such objects are indirect. Krogan-Roley’s interest lies not so much in the specific information these artefacts have been coded with, but rather in the visual frameworks created to contain such information.
The apparent ‘emptiness’ of his coats of arms, their lack of an identifiable ceremonial or martial purpose, instead reflects the role this class of objects play as semiotic vehicles. Conventions such as the division of a surface into two or four separate areas were originally created as a way to accommodate ever more complex sets of social significations. Reflecting layers of genealogy, the inter-marriage of families, and titles bestowed upon individuals, heraldry had to accommodate ever-growing amounts of specific information. This is information that the Empty Coats deliberately removes in order to explore the dynamics of picture-making where such conventions afford. They repurpose heraldry for a secular age, rendering it in materials scoured from the artist’s nearby surroundings.
The exhibition is accompanied by August Krogan-Roley’s new artist’s book by the same title with 24 reproductions and a text by Neil Clements. The publication is designed by Indrek Sirkel and published by Lugemik. The international book launch will take place on September 21 at NY Art Book Fair 2019.
August Krogan-Roley (USA, b.1986 in Minneapolis, MN) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK. Krogan-Roley has held solo exhibitions at institutions including At Liberty, Hong Kong, CN; Ricou Gallery, Brussels, BE; Three Four Three Four Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis and Generator Projects, Dundee, UK. His work has been exhibited at venues such as Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK; Kate Werble Gallery, New York, NY; The Glue Factory, Glasgow, UK; RATA Projects, New York, NY; and Shoreditch Town Hall, London, UK.
Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova (LV/NL)
Unseen is a leading annual event for contemporary photography, that aims to celebrate artists, both emerging and established, who push the boundaries of the medium.
Kogo gallery is happy to present at Unseen Mari-Leen Kiipli’s photography, video and installation work.
Our participation at Unseen is supported by The Ministry of Culture of Estonia and the City of Tartu. Production of the new works is supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment.
By imagining the future we create a form that we can fill with details. But how do we sense the past? We should keep in mind that the perception of memories is not linear – moments emerge that shape one’s own experience.
Currently, my home, the place where I live, is not my real home. When I think about home, I see a constantly changing image – a collection of my experiences and preferences – a memory of the future. Such an image about my home exists in my mind in supreme perfection – always the way I want it to be.
At the exhibition, I study the gaps in memory – negative spaces of thought. Positive has disappeared or has not existed, but the image still affects me. In the spaces of thought, this missing part is adjoined by everyday doings and objects. The negative has dug its roots deep ínto my memories and thus affects my perception and my everyday activities.
I will create an installation – a psycho sculpture – that reflects the essence of the memories of the future.
Text: Johannes Luik
Johannes Luik (b 1988) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a focus on installation and sculpture and he currently lives and works in Tallinn. 2017 (with Siim Elmers) and 2018 he won Grand Prix of the Young Sculptor Award.
In his art, Johannes Luik subjectively describes impressions and spaces. His works find expression in different media but always relate organically with space. His method is to study the relationship between (abstract) objects in a three-dimensional architectural space and the functional relationship between architectural details in those objects. This is how Johannes Luik deals with space as a material that, when activated, can create different ways of experience and memory.
The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and by the city of Tartu.
Martiini, Salme Kulmar, Marja-Liisa Plats, Helle Ly Tomberg, Paul Lepasson, Uku Pira, Martin Rästa, Siim Lill, Kersten Kõrge, Gabriela Liivamägi
“Retrospective” is a collaborative exhibition by witnesses to the permanently transient immeasurable manifestation of the omnieternally disappearing and emerging chaos. As a spontaneously flowing spatial installation, the exhibition aims to look back upon the perpetual conflict between humanity and the universe, which has been tormenting men from the moment the first human hand reached for a stone axe. Imitating the ambitious, alas hopeless fight of humanity against unrelenting Chaos, the Congregation of Chaos investigates essential primal matters on experiencing the human condition and seeks reconciliation with an endlessly unfathomable universe.
Stepping outside the harrowing boundaries of knowledge and shunning expectations for success – we are free. Actualizing boundless self-potential, without self-imitation or endeavour for a static (artist-)image, we deconstruct the meaning of our creative output as well as our own selves. Congregation of Chaos’s “Retrospective” is a deconstructive process, which refrains from concentrating on authors, works or references and meanings between, but instead creates a spontaneously changing common space filled with the pure flow of boundless creation. Missing are the borders between a concrete work, a medium, and an author. The spatial installation evolves and devolves spontaneously, transmuting form and meaning. The void behind the witchstone flashes just for a glimpse and dissolves again into rubble. Members of the Congregation of Chaos realize the intrinsic human right to err and to improvise and thereby reconcile the humankind and the universe. Rock On!
The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and by the city of Tartu. Thanks to Värska Vesi.
Follow the live stream of the exhibition and other videos from the exhibition at the Kogo gallery on YouTube.
For her new solo exhibition, Ede Raadik will transform the gallery space into a lab of charts and diagrams which are based on smartphone apps that monitor menstrual cycles. The exhibition will provide a close look at the Excel spreadsheet of the artist’s health.
Ede Raadik will continue her path as a feminist conceptualist who turns personal life events into numbers and graphs. The systematized tables and diagrams of smartphone apps that monitor the artist’s menstrual cycle are both homeric and self-ironical. At the same time, these drawings encourage distancing from emotional experiences and see them as typical cases in the sea of life’s Excel. In this way, these intimate events become something era-specific and the personality and drama will fade. The exhibition raises questions about the new anachronistic norms, cybersecurity, the meaning and borders of personal and public, which have changed significantly in the age of smart devices.
Text: Rebeka Põldsam
Ede Raadik graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of the Estonian Academy of Arts; she lives and works in Tallinn. Her solo exhibition Sailin’ on the Red Sea is open at Kogo Gallery, in Widget factory, Tartu, from April 4 to May 11. The exhibition is open Wed–Fri 12pm to 7pm and Sat 12 pm to 6pm.
The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and by the city of Tartu. Thanks to Purtse brewery.
You are welcome to the opening of the exhibition Chatty Matter and to the performance by Age Linkmann and Taavi Rei on Friday, 8th of February at 6.00 pm at Kogo Gallery.
In the broadest sense, this exhibition looks at the material culture and the stories, meanings, and transformations that lie in it. There has been a long tradition in society to admire objects of tangible culture from the past, but how do we connect with objects in our contemporary society that surrounds us daily? This exhibition explores the social stories, hopes, and desires that have settled in the matter around us. Artists are like anthropologists who study the different meanings of things through form, materials, usage functions and socio-cultural histories.
What kind of expectations, and meanings tie us with things around? And how does one influence his own perceptions, understandings, and habits through the material things he constantly creates around him? In our daily lives, things play an important role in both material and immaterial ways. We fetish their utilitarian or aesthetic qualities, but rarely think about their possible additional meanings and hidden potentials. Chatty Matter is based on visual and tactical research on things that have lost their function, or which function is unknown or yet undiscovered. What purposes, meanings, and ways of being manifest in things that surround us every day, when we remove the ideological meanings and utility functions attributed by man?
Artists are fascinated by situations where objects have lost their purpose or commute between function and aesthetics. Through the study of decorative semi-functional things, Saarits investigates objects in which the social desirability of success and dreams of consumerism have materialized. By observing the origin stories of different things, she also analyses the topic of “thingliness” and the ontological meanings of things in a wider context. Mertes however, combines special types of materials and parts of commodities and is engaged in rethinking the perceptions and everyday habits related to things around us. Emphasizing on the material presence of the work of art and having the desire to abandon the semantic baggage of things and materials, she thus opens up their new possible meanings and uses.
Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova (LV/NL)
Thanks to: Club-Mate Eesti, Trükikoda Paar, Looming Hostel, Siim Preiman, Ingrid Allik, Brita Kaasik, Taavi Rei, Age Linkmann, Darja Andrejeva, Lauri Lest, Helena Keskküla, Kadri Villand, Eva-Erle Lilleaed, Mati Schönberg, Marten Esko.
The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia; 6 pm.
You are cordially invited to the opening of Eva Mustonen’s solo exhibition Spider-Woman on Friday, December 14 at 6 pm in Kogo Gallery.
Deriving from the myths related to weaving (both ancient and contemporary), Eva Mustonen offers a prosaic version of tapestry as a niche and archaic textile art form. At the exhibition Spider-Woman the artist lays her creative process directly in front of the viewer. While staying at the gallery during the exhibition, the artist will be dying the yarns and weaving them into a tapestry on the looms. The day by day weaving will be accompanied by the artist’s past years interviews with Estonian tapestry artists as well as her own diary excerpts and texts that concern the history of tapestry art and it’s position in the contemporary art world, illustrating self ironically, how seemingly simple and technically easily mastered tapestry weaving can turn out to be a much more complicated affair.
Eva Mustonen (1986) studied textile design and semiotics in Tartu and Gothenburg and sculpture in Tallinn. She is currently living and working in Tallinn.
Today, Mustonen works mainly as an installation artist. In her projects personal narratives dominate that speak of being different, living somewhere in the margins of society. In her work, she combines both the techniques of the textile design and the products of everyday acts and doings. Mustonen’s works stand out because of her usage of tightly crafted and recognisable materials and unexpectedly beautiful mystical objects. The artist seems to be inspired by everyday simplicity, the marvellous abundance of second-hand shops and the history of women artists. Mustonen could be seen and thought about as a feminist, in which the private can often have a political dimension.
Exhibition is supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Gambling Tax Council, Punch Drinks