Tallinn's 'tram monument' taken under heritage protection

Kaarel Kurismaa's
Kaarel Kurismaa's "Tallinna trammi-objekt" as seen from Pärnu maantee viaduct. Source: Google street view

Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) announced Kaarel Kurismaa's "Tallinna trammi-objekt" in Tallinn as a cultural heritage object.

"Tallinna trammi-objekt" is an installation by Estonian sound art and installation artist Kaarel Kurismaa and was completed in 1993. Temnikova & Kasela gallery proposed the object be made a cultural heritage object in October of 2019.

The object's form has preserved itself well over the years but the color scheme has been changed in cooperation with the author. The original blue-red-white tone was turned blue and yellow in 2008. The piece, made of brick, concrete and metal is given kinetic extra value by a weather vane.

City artist Urmas Mikk commissioned for the piece in 1988 with the intention of creating a sculpture for the 100th anniversary of tram traffic in Tallinn. The initial idea of the installation comes from "Trammivasikas", a 1983 puppet film.

Kaarel Kurismaa is one of the most prominent avant garde artists of Estonian history and his significance lies mostly in the pioneering work with kinetic art and with keeping its traditions alive. Kurismaa stands as one of Estonian sound art scene's central icons.

All his works apart from the "tram monument" have either been lost or destroyed.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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