6th Tallinn applied art triennial: “Art of collecting”
The goal of the triennial is to offer new, salient and unexpected focus to help view contemporary applied art and design practices on as wide a scale as possible. Being an international art event, the triennial enlivens the local art scene and keeps it fresh. Each triennial has anew format and theme. As an extension of the main exhibition, a number of events will take place to further explore and elucidate the theme. Since 1997, the triennial has been an international art event meant to promote and introduce applied art and design. The curator of this triennial’s main exhibition is Love Jönsson (Sweden)
First, second floor and gallery.
Marit Ilison. 70 Cotton Smocks. 2008–2011
In the project “70 cotton smocks”, Ilison deals with themes of assimilating values and information noise from the surrounding environment, weaving nostalgia, memories, stereotyped thought patterns and the artist’s own searches for self and views on the nature of life. The project is physically/materially manifested in 70 individually hand-dyed cotton smocks ranging in colour from white to saturated dark violet.
A smock is one of the most basic work garments (worn in laboratories, medical institutions, haute couture studios). People who don smocks adopt a role associated with certain views and a positron in society. The smock as the object itself symbolizes thought forms values and information – both everyday as well as ones that spread through the surroundings over a longer term and which we let seep in and influence us, either intentionally or unintentionally.
In the performance connected to the project, Ilison as fashion designer takes a critical look at the nature of a fashion show as a happening as well as at the nature of a collection as an object. She also plays with the viewer’s senses and perceptions, raising the question of whether everything is indeed as we see it. The “70 cotton smocks” performance has previously been featured at the MOMENT fashion and art show in Tallinn and the BIO EST festival in New York, which introduces contemporary Estonian art.
The schedule of exhibitions is subject to change.
Last exhibitions 2012:
“Classics.” Rein Mets
Rein Mets graduated from the Art Institute in 1971 and in the decades since has become one of the most distinctive and compelling jewellery artists. An iconoclastic and independent figure, his activity as a challenger of the status quo of jewellery as simply “beautiful object” was effective and surprising and threw valid mores into disarray. The central symbol in the artist’s work is the figure as the expression of pain, joy, inebriation and love; this does not go for jewellery alone but also for his wall plaques and sculptural objects. The museum’s Mets collection is large in number but more significant than quantity is the value of his work to Estonian art history.
"Modernization. Baltic art, architecture and design in the 1960s and 1970s ".
Soviet era art, architecture and design in the Baltics is slipping from living memory and becoming history. The Baltics were seen in the Soviet context as a reminiscence or part of something Western, an internal Western Europe. The design and architecture of the Baltics’ cafes and restaurants, seaside spas, new residential communities and public buildings was clearly distinct from that of the region, becoming legendary.
Items that symbolized comfort on an everyday level became especially popular: Latvian radios, Estonian lights, portable Lithuanian television sets, Baltic applied art and souvenirs and much more.
The exhibition consists of four parts, treating modernization of public space (city) and private space (home), the spread of design (industrial art) and aspects related to consumer habits and lifestyle (free time) in the Baltics.
Marginalia – notes and comments written on the margins of a book’s pages – are a form of reader-author feedback of dialogue. Every bibliophile knows that often it is these handwritten jottings that give a book its personality, much more important than the text itself. Drawings and stories committed to a book’s pages reflect important tidbits in people’s lives, and in bound form, well-maintained, these take on even greater value.
The exhibition features small-scale works whose height and width does not exceed 15 cm. Every artist could make their own choice of what to include within the binding – it could be a printed edition from a publisher or an artist’s portfolio or a white writing pad.
The small format did not make things simpler for the artists – on the contrary, it demanded greater precision and a deeper approach and the meticulousness of a jeweller to convey the material effectively. This medium vividly highlights the technical and artistic abilities of the bookbinder.
"Our Metamorphic Futures. Design, Technical Aesthetics and Experimental Architecture in Soviet Union 1960-1980"
“Our Metamorphic Futures” investigates visionary projects in Soviet architecture and design practices (in the Baltic countries and Russia) throughout the decades of the 1960s and 1970s, that aimed at the production of a new, ideal living environment that could be easily adapted according to the changing needs of its users. It would combine the latest technological innovations with a new concept of the human being as active component.
Often growing out from socialist state-sponsored research institutes and centres, these practices offered however an alternative to the dominant building practice and urban design and foresaw a future where in the centre stood transformability and surprise.
This often required an extension of design and architectural practice, shifting from the design of singular objects to the organisation of environments (and life) as a whole.
During the mid-1970s, attitudes toward design and technology became more ambivalent: there emerged critical and conceptual projects pointing to the underside of an excess of consumption and a media-saturated space, indicating a need to consider the contradictions inherent in modernist ideals – in culture designed according to technology and industry.
ALFREDO GIOVENTÙ (Italy). Panteophonia - times and rhythms of nature
Alfredo Gioventù (1952) is a ceramic artist, sculptor and installation artist rolled into one, and has a diploma in Italian literature to boot. For years, he has taught at various educational institutions. In the last twenty years, he has been studying the technical possibilities of kiln-fired ceramics. Having developed the expressive possibilities of grès technique, he imitates the forms of Ligurian sea stones. He has studied the rhythms of nature and semiotics of lines and published papers on this topic. Alfredo Gioventù’s externally simple, spare, and aesthetic ceramic form is free of excess detail and any self-conscious striving to be beautiful, grand or ostentatious. His ceramic art is a reflection of time in stone.
Kärt Ojavee. UUO (Undefined Useful Objects)
This is a personal exhibition by Ojavee, a Ph.D. candidate at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the University of Technology’s Biorobotics Centre, and artist and designer who in the last ten years has concentrated on developing “smart” textiles.
First floor, hall 1
"CONTENT AND FORM I". Contemprary Estonian graphic design 2001–2011
The exhibition displays primarily the works of the younger generation of Estonian graphic designers working in the cultural sector. These are active independent designers who embarked on their career in the beginning of the new century. The exhibition looks back at ten years of activities and projects.
First floor, hall 2
"Getting faster and faster?" Glass artist Rait Prääts
The artist has long sought ways of creating works that would combine characteristics of painting, drawing and sculpture. Thanks to glass, this synthesis appears to prove a reality.
The coming exhibition primarily depicts people in motion doing everyday things, while investigating whether things are getting faster and faster for them.
Kaunas textile biennial 2011 “REWIND HISTORY”
The 8th Kaunas textile biennial exhibition, “Rewind History”, focuses on promoting contemporary art through textile art. Interpretations of 20th century Lithuanian artists’ works woven on an industrial Jacquard loom present a “short history of Lithuanian art”.
First floor, hall 1
Contemporary Estonian glass art
An exhibition of newer works by Estonian glass artists, which was first on display in the glass museum in Gernheim, Germany and then travelled to Finland’s Riihimäki glass museum. Now it is coming to Estonia for the first time, supplemented with new works. Many artists have put an emphasis on the content and message of works, along with developing their professional technical skills. The themes are both globally philosophical and profoundly personal, the solutions special and different. Besides the star material – glass – wood, metal, photography, video, LEDs, motion detectors all take their turn in the spotlight.
First floor, hall 2
Mall Mets. "Winter Festival”
With her colour-filled work, Mall Mets has always stood out from the traditional backdrop of Estonian leather art. Over her long career, Mets has been known for using both pop art idioms and national symbolism. This time, the museum gallery presents a selection of the artist’s appliqué leather rugs from recent years.