7.9.2023 — 10.9.2023
Ways of Being
In the curated section ZONE1
Kursalon Vienna, stand 7
Ways of Being: Speculative Scenes Regarding Laura Põld’s Installation for viennacontemporary 2023
Text and illustrations by Gary Markle
Recordings by Gary Markle and Lukas Eggerth
In the curated section ZONE1 at the art fair viennacontemporary, Kogo Gallery will present a new ceramic and mixed media wall installation by Estonian artist Laura Põld under the title Ways of Being. Põld is an artist and educator who divides her time between Vienna and Tallinn. In her installation she bravely addresses the challenges humans are facing in an era of unprecedented global crises. Her Gesamtkunstwerk for the early 21st century invokes the universal language of craft to speak to this painful reality. The artist’s cinematic umwelt is earth-hued and built from an arrangement of artefacts and sculptural objects that are futuristic, fantastical and yet strangely familiar – ceramics and painting-like sheets of bioplastic that evoke a sense of cautious optimism for the post-anthropic survival of the planet.
Põld’s practice focuses on issues of more-than-human concern. Through a series of artist residencies, solo, group and multi-modal collaborative installations, she has helped to define Estonian art in the first quarter of the 21st century. In her practice, the artist addresses “wicked” problems. Wicked problems are so profound that they are often not possible to resolve. Instead of easy answers, she offers a space to contemplate ways forward without giving simple solutions. Her sculptural objects are tools for building futures; her installations are the worldings of survival. The viennacontemporary marks her arrival to a broader audience, demonstrating her ability to speak to universal truths through her sensually haptic and aesthetically challenging works.
During the fair, printouts of a text with illustrations by the artist Gary Markle titled Ways of Being: Speculative Scenes Regarding Laura Põld’s Installation for viennacontemporary 2023 will also be available at the stand. This material is a poetic extension of the project reflecting on the observations, thoughts, rituals and creative journey the artist has taken to create this installation. The text will be available also in an audio version in English and German.
Laura Põld’s practice combines interdisciplinary and traditional craft skills with sculpture-based mediums. Through these lenses, she examines posthuman and more-than-human ways of being, caring, community building, and sheltering. She creates large-scale assemblages, constructions and installations from these sources, which playfully disrupt and subvert the typical understanding of art venues.
Laura Põld (b.1984 in Tallinn, Estonia) is an Estonian artist living in Tallinn and Vienna. Her formal education includes the study of ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA), painting at the University of Tartu (MA) and sculptural conceptions and ceramics at the University of Art and Design, Linz (MA). She is a Visiting Associate Professor of installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), Tallinn, Estonia. Põld has been awarded a number of prizes and scholarships such as the Köler Prize Grand Prix (2016), the Grand Prize of The Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2018), the ISCP New York studio grant (2019) and the Claus Michaletz Preis (2021). Recent solo and duo exhibitions include Translating and Co-labouring, (AV17) Gallery, Vilnius, LT (2023); Fibers in the Cave, solo presentation at Art Brussels with Kogo Gallery, BE (2023), Common Threads, Polar Bear and Elephant with Andres Tolts, Kogo Gallery, Tartu, EE (2022); Doing What They Do Best, Kunstraum Memphis, Linz, AU (2021). Recent group exhibitions include shelter –sanctuary, The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn, EE (2023); Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, EE (2023); (INTIMITÄT) Feelings are Facts, Kunstverein Eisenstadt, AU (2023). Her works are in collections of Art Museum Bayreuth, DE, European Central Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt, DE, Art Museum of Estonia, EE, Tartu Art Museum, EE, Zuzāns Collection, LV, Gmundner Keramik Collection, AU and Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, LV. Põld is represented by Kogo Gallery, Tartu, EE.
Kogo Gallery’s participation is funded by the Ministry of Culture of Estonia from the fund Estonian Culture Abroad. Production of works by Laura Põld is supported by the Academy of Ceramics Gmunden residency, Gmundner Keramik and the Department of Ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Gmundner Keramik, Academy of Ceramics Gmunden residentuur, Department of Ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tiina Sepp, Lukas Eggerth, Gary Markle, Albert Kerstna, Triin Lehismets, Stefanie Hinterwirth, Leelo-Mai Aunbaum.
Artist: Laura Põld
Text and illustrations: Gary Markle
Audio recordings of the text: Gary Markle and Lukas Eggerth
Photography: Albert Kerstna and Simon Veres
Curator: Šelda Puķīte
Project coordinator: Liina Raus
Communication: Karin Kahre and Kristlyn Liier
Installation: Siim Asmer and Albert Løje
Editing and translating: Refiner Translations, Jan Peacock, Lukas Eggerth and Paula Oberndorfer
viennacontemporary is Austria’s leading international art fair that bridges the contemporary art worlds of Western and Eastern Europe and is therefore widely considered a place for surprising positions and discoveries. ZONE1 is dedicated to emerging talents and is a strong focus for collectors, press, curators, galleries, artists and the general audience. It features 10 booths exclusively showing solo presentations by young artists who live, work or have been educated in Austria. It’s one of the highlights of the fair and is highly valued by art experts and visitors.
This year the exhibition is curated by Francesca Gavin. The concept of her curation is The Grey Area, linking the ten emerging artists not by medium or theme but by their approach to nuance. Gavin has chosen to focus on a breadth of artists that represent some of the broader takes on identity, meaning and aesthetics in contemporary art making.
Kogo is a contemporary art gallery in Tartu, Estonia, founded in 2018. The gallery focuses on the younger generation of artists, currently representing eight artists from the Baltic countries. The gallery’s recent and upcoming presence in international art fairs includes viennacontemporary (2023), Liste Art Fair Basel (2021, 2022, 2023), Art Brussels (2023), Around Video Art Fair (2022) and others. Kogo Gallery is committed to encouraging dialogue on important issues of today by running an extensive public programme alongside the exhibitions.
Liina Raus, gallerist
+372 5560 7971
Press and Publications
.Arterritory, overview-review from the fair by Agnese Čivle, 12 September 2023
.Ministry of Culture of Estonia, IG post, 8 September 2023
.Arterritory, interview with the artist and curator by Agnese Čivle, 30 August 2023
.Estonian Public Broadcast, online culture news, news on participation, 30 August2023
.Tartu Postimees, news on the participation, 29 August 2023
.Munchies Art Club Magazine, article, 22 August 2023