The 2017 Tallinn Photomonth opened on Sept. 1 with a group exhibition called "Image Drain" by South African curator Anthea Buys at Tallinn Art Hall as well as the Museum of Photography. The program includes dozens of museums, galleries, art spaces, performances, and events across Tallinn and Narva.
This year’s program covers galleries, performances, and events across Tallinn as well as a residency and exhibition in Narva in Ida-Viru County.
The exhibition spaces that are participating in Tallinn are the ARS Project Space, the Draakon Gallery, the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, the Hobusepea Gallery, the Kanuti Gild Saal’s exhibition space, the KUMU Art Museum, the Tallinn Art Hall Gallery, the Mihhail Gallery, the Puänt bookshop, the Tallinn City Gallery, Telliskivi Creative City, the Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, the Vaal Gallery, the exhibition surfaces in Tallinn’s Freedom Square, and various artist studios in Tallinn.
In Ida-Viru County, the Narva Art Gallery and the Narva Art Residency are also part of the program.
“Image Drain” exhibition (Tallinn Art Hall, Museum of Photography)
“Image Drain” shows photography-related art. Curator Anthea Buys brings together 13 artists from all over the globe, combining their works with a fictitious story about a Russian businessman, his dreams, and his interest in the techniques of photography.
The exhibition uses photography as an approach rather than as a medium—as a way to enter the realm of the visual, as a way to approach the world and find meaning in it. The notion behind “Image Drain” is that photography doesn’t have to be limited to the production of photographs in the manner we are used to in everyday life.
Buys was born in Johannesburg and today is based in Bergen, Norway. She is the director of the Hordaland Art Centre, where her current program “explores the possibility of a ‘post-exhibitionary’ condition in presenting and mediating contemporary art”.
“Suspended Shifts” exhibition (Basement hall, Kanuti Gild, Tallinn)
“Suspended Shifts” opened on Sept. 3 and includes work by Finnish artists Tuukka Kaila and Oskari Parkkinen. Kaila’s work is at the intersection of art, research, and publishing and explores the means and limits of visual representation as well as the relationship between a photograph and what it represents. Parkkinen explores the relationship between the representational quality and the materiality of art.
This is Kaila and Parkkinen’s first joint exhibition. Important aspects that connect the two artists are an interest in treating photographs as documents of an artistic process, working with analogue photography and the organic working process taking place in the darkroom. Both approach photography as a medium, a material and its content—they analyse and deconstruct it into elements and so intervene in the nature of photographs.
Up next: “Chronicles of Art Life”
Tallinn Photomonth’s next exhibition, “Chronicles of Art Life,” presents a selection of photographs of the art and cultural scene in Estonia ranging from the 1940s to the 1980s. Instead of presenting one of its own, the exhibition wants to direct the attention of the audience to the role of photographers in the creation of the narratives underlying art.
The primary concern in the selection of the photographs was not the significance of the people and events depicted, but rather the evocativeness of the images themselves: the way the photographs represent and shape their times and our understanding of them, and how it changes over time.
The exhibition is only a glimpse at what could be supplemented with thousands of additional images, or what might never have been caught on camera or otherwise recorded at all. This gives the beholder a good idea how the history and the narratives surrounding the creation of art are shaped by those who are present to record it—or not.
Have a look at Tallinn Photomoth’s 2017 program in detail here.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: Culture.ee, Fotokuu.ee, ERR