art review

Sunday, May 14, 2006

06/05/2006 Medialab Tallinn/ SWITCH/

I am not here to describe or talk about the whole event, because I just did not have any time to visit the whole event, but I was able to get there on the last day and see the short films made by students of the Tallinn university and before them a little introduction of some of the projects of the medialab...

I cant get over the subjects what were under discussion before the movies. A company introduced its projects and ideas. The point was to make things easier for people. They were also developing several games for children to help them learn cooperation and the real ways of life, besides that they are developing devices to make the life of disabled people a lot easier. Those things only brought up good emotions but the things they are doing to make everything so easy for regular people was a little bit against my ideas...The man, lets call him the introducer, showed a picture where there were two cars, of which one was a regualr one but the other had only a button under the hood. It was supposed to represent their ultimate goal. I fear the situation when everything is made too easy. People are too comfortable to avoid these things and if to take away all the need for thinking or learning, people will stop doing that and eventually get bored...as we all know, everybody does stupid things when they are bored, i would like to avoid that kind of situation...lear to do things the old way...gives more pleasure=)

NOW...to the movies, which were totaaly excellent and well thought of, it even made me forget that i wanted to argue with the man who had spoken before( I actually held myself back, because the rest of their ideas were really noble)...there were many films and my poor mind has forgotten how many exactly were there. Every movie in my mind made up its own category and was how to say..."deep"...or then again not...they all had their own meaning, that is for sure, but I am afarid I didnt like all the motives...But who wants to hear about bad things...most of them were still really good and all in all I would call this event really profitable for everyone that were there. To me the movies were a good entertainment. The movies were worth something...
I always advise people to go and watch movies made by so- called "small fish" because they are really syrrealistic and full of fantasies and creativity. I also see as many movies like that...weird twitches

Before I end my praise for the minds of not-so-famous-and-not-so-old people, who make movies I would like to share with you the environment of the place...The whole thing took place in English...there were little Estonians besides me at Polymer, which was th place for the event to take place(excuse the repeating of the words)...The whole building is an old factory( at the moment its called culture factory) and as I headed to the spot i passed a bikers bar and a really old man who was trying to make his old
"boneshaker" work....really desperate...The sounds could be heard inside too and that gave a good feeling...for some weird reasons some places were covered with turpentine, so the smell was real...the chairs and curatind inside were made of newspapers and looked really cool...the people looked a bit bohemian and everybody was in a good mood=)...

All in all media art is a really wide playing field and what one thinks about the reasons or motives of this kind of art, or if it is art at all...is up to the individ...art is everywhere...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

POSTPOST





POSTPOST is a postcard sale in Draakoni galery (Tallinn, Pikk street 18). This show is on display from 5th may to 13th may. The photos on the cards are taken by Tanja Muravskaja, Marge Monko, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo, Helen Melesk, Laura Kuusk, Henri Tuomi (FIN) and Kjell Gryspeert (BEL). These postcards are for sale and for a good reason: to fund protesters in Toompea with hot soup (that's really useful since it can get really cold while trying to stand for your rights). All of these photos were in A1 format and made in Tallinn. Every postcard costs 30 kroons and you could select the photo that you liked and have it printed out as a postcard. Some of the photos looked quite shocking since every town has it's dark corners. Most of them showed the moderrn image of Tallinn as a cheap and somewhat dirty place. There were some vintage photos showing the old life, but most pictures were about ugly things such as old abandoned houses, pictures that suggest to the image of tallinn as a party place with cheap and easy girls. There also were pictures of junk, a syringe, souvenir shops etc. Like allways the most shocking photos are the ones that you remember. Besides photos there were texts made by artists, the kind of things that people write on the back of a postcard sent from Tallinn. These were in different languages expressing how stereotypical tourists from other countries think of Tallinn. For example the Finnish letter was a about shopping and drinking in Tallinn and the British one was about easy going girls. This kind of image is something that most people living in Tallinn don't want, but we have to overlook it since it's a major income for shops, bars and hotels in Tallinn. Photos of souvenir shops were a real piece of irony in this case. It shows Tallinn in a good way since a lot of tourists really don't know much about life in here. They don't know about the old abandoned houses, they don't care about the impact of sex tourism in Tallinn and it's natural since most people don't want to know this, but these artists want to show it to everyone so we can take a reality check and see what's happening behind the curtains. A must see for all the people who like raw truth and nice pictures.

"MAALI MAALID"

Näituse aurtor olen mina ehk Maali Roomet. Olen 15. aastane. Ma olen oma töödel põhiliselt kujutanud mere vaateid erinevates variantides. Tööd ei ole väga realistlikud aga samas ka mitte väga abstraktsed. Ilmselt see jääb vaataja otsustada. Maalid on teostatud õlivärvidega. Maalide nimed on omapärased nt. "Must masendus" mis on ka minu enda lemmik tõõ. Kuna üldjuhul kui ma pintsli kätte olen võtnud ei ole mul just kõige parem tuju aga on ka alati erandeid. Näitusel on üleval üheksa maali ja kaks fotokollaazhi. Fotodest nii palju, et suurem osa on minu pildistatud, võistlustõõd ja need kus mina ise peal ole on kas Johanna Mudisti või minu ema tehtud.
See oli mu esimene isiknäitus ja maalid on tehtud alates 2004. -2006. aastate vahel.
Näitus asub ühes vanalinna kohvikus Delicia Lai tänav 32 ja seda näha saab igaüks kes huvi tunneb. Ruum ei ole just väga suur aga maalid sobivad sinna hästi.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hans Hemmert "Air Balloon Chapel" at KUMU



- will add betetr photo when i find it!

This will be a quick review now after the last two essays...

This sculpture was the highlight of looking around the KUMU gallery (which contained a lot of other points of interest), it was very refreshing in it's simplicity. To be completely honest I am not the biggest fan of "Art" with a capital "A", being the overly thought-out and therefore fairly agonising type often found in that awful environment: the 'Gallery'. I prefer things that have more of an initial impact and make full of use of the visual side (and audio if possible...) as well as the theoretical, rather than hiding behind reems of explanation and reasoning (thats the polite way of putting it). This sculpture had a sense of wonder about it, one of those things you see and think "that's a really good idea!", and you feel compelled to go and take a closer look. Brilliant as well that you could walk inside it and it was meant to be experienced rather than just looked at. Inside the sculpture the smell of the balloons was unmistakable, and added to the experience, wheareas the sense of air and lightness was fascinating. I've been to see it twice now, and the second time (a few weeks after the first) some of the balloons had burst and deflated, like a really slowly collapsing monument, adding the aspect of time to the work also. Fascinating how it would disintegrate in such a different way from more normal buildings, all parts ever-so-slowly decreasing in size, with an occasional and unexpected 'bang' punctuating this steady process. Hemmert's work often takes rubber as a theme, taking into account its playful side as well as the maybe more fetishistic. It is great to see this weird material being explored to a fuller potential, the notions of space and barriers between places are given good scope for reflection. I plan to go back just before the sculpure is removed as it would be great to see it in a state of almost complete delapadation, all wrinkled like a really old man, or perhaps skin when you've been in the bath too long (!).

1895 by Priit Parn & Janno Poldma

Animated film made in 1995, dur. 30mins,





Since working at Joonisfilm and rooting around through the back catlalogue of films made there over the past 30 or so years, I came across this absolute gem of an animation. I guess it is probably already well-known among those Estonians who have an inclination towards animation and the moving image (?), but this is the first time I have seen any of Parn's work (I have seen stills before but not watched the actual animations). This film has been inundated with awards and accolades and so my voice may be lost in this sea of noise, but I would just like to add a few more words of praise and admiration. From the beginning of the film it hits you as something entirely original, a brilliant mix of dark and surreal humour, breakneck speed narration and an original visual style. The film was made to mark the centeniary of the invention of the cinema by the Lumiere brothers, and the storyline is concerned with the life history of our protagonist - 'Jean Paul' - who embarks on a journey to find out his true identity. At the end of the film we finally get to find out via the rather simple route (after the huge array of identity crises that Jean Paul has been through over a period of decades) of looking in his passport, and it appears he is one half of the Lumiere brothers.

The humour is brillaint, completely absurd and very very funny, and there is an amazing synchronisation between image and narrative that means that they complement each other continously, and feed off each other where the comedy is concerned. The very English-sounding voice over works really well, leading me to wonder (wrongly) whether the whole thing was written in English, as the jokes themselves also seem to have a certain englishness about them, quite Monty Python-esque, but also hints of very modern English humour such as Chris Morris (one of Priits other films 'Hotel E' is concerned with characturistic representations of the East and the West, and it seems questions about the media in general are continually just below the surface in many of his films). Also parallels with comedians such as Phil Kay and Dylan Moran seem apparant. This to me is very interesting because it highlights a huge parallel between English and Estonian humour; it's struck me since I've been in Estonia that the two are very similar in their sense of dryness and absurdity (and dark undertones... mwa ha haaa).

This is a film that can be watched repeatedly, each time revealing something more that you had previously missed, I have watched it 3 times now and still feel like I am only starting to understand it's complexity, as each time you get another joke or piece of meaning. The actual animation is original in style, very original considering what preceeded it in terms of otehr Estonian animation, as it marks a departure from the maybe overly serious and moralising films of Rein Ramaat. The actual style of the drawing is quite primitive, with interesting layers of dark colour and occasionally lapsing into completely different styles. For instance, all the dream sequences, to mark a difference to what could be loosely termed reality, are done in very different styles, one recurring dream using film footage, and one dream using a very different drawing style to depict one recurring dream of a skating Lenin! One of the many highlights.

The whole film is packed full of quotable sentences, one of my favourites is about a character that we begin to follow called 'Little Edwourd', who seems like he is a childrens TV character; we follow him being chased Tom and Jerry style, and then when he stops the narrative continues "and then little Edwourd got bored, so he decided to invent the Mass Media". It seems fruitless to quote too much as it looses some of its complexity and the all-important timing when removed from the visual side of the film, so I recommend watching this (somehow) if you havnt already seen it, and then re-watching it for as many times as you have spare moments.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Double Trouble" by Yyvette Bozsik


Performance by a Hungarian Dance Company: Compagnie Yvette Bozsik, at Kanuti Gildi SAAL 31.03.06

'Double Trouble' was a very interesting and certaintly quite surreal dance involving a man and a woman: Yyvette Bozsik and Tamas Vati, Bozsik being the choreographer. It consisted of several very different parts, with the aim of addressing the question of platonic mate seeking, and questions such as 'Will we ever find our other half?'. (Maybe quite a wide subject seeing as this is what the majority of all art, literature and music ever made attempts to address to some degree!). However, questions were posed in very original ways and the performance continually moved forwards at just the right speed. The beginning section opened with the man and woman as older people, wearing dramatic latex masks that gave the appearance of very leathery wrinkled skin, and simple white clothing. The characters danced to the fragmented, piercing music, always maintaining a strong but emotionally changeable bond. They seemed to be struggling to cope with the dynamics of the relationship, switching from caring to fraught to comic gestures from one moment to the next, and occasionally making comic use of props such as a fake arm (!). This dancing was used inbetween the following different sections as well to provide a sense of continuity, though the man and woman changed clothes and ages each time.

After this section, the dancers left the stage and the two chairs that had been used as props remained, positioned to take up the whole stage. A spotlight was then shined alternately from one chair to the other, as a very mechanical voiceover was played over the top. It appeared that the chairs were having some kind of conversation about their relationship, and about how ultimately happy they were with each other and their lives in general. However, there was no emotion at all in the tone used, hence creating a very comic effect. Here is an artists representation:



Other highlights of the performance included a part where man and woman sit opposite each other at a table, with a screen behind them that had video images of clouds and flying pieces of fruit on. The man and woman proceeded to reach over to the screen and grab at the pieces of fruit, which miraculuosly materialised in their hands! I don't know how they managed to do this so convincingly and it was very clever. Liked this a lot.





The performance then started to take on a slightly more surreal atmosphere as the stage was again cleared, lights dimmed, and then a spotlight appeared to highlight a gnome standing by the side of the stage. This gnome then proceeded to inform the audience (via another voiceover) about his state of singledom in about ten different languages, one after the other. Needless to say this was fairly bizarre, kind of embarrasingly 'I'm trying to be different' at first, but the whole thing did take on a genuinely humurous touch as the voiceover continued in more and more different languages.



So, altogether a very enjoyable and thought-provoking (and at times very silly) performance, the only slight let-down was the end which was rather cheesy and twee, with film footage of two children playing about in summer fields. But overall the ideas in the performance were very varied and interesting, a collage of film and movement and props, and executed in a very accomplished way. I would like to see more of this cross-combining of forms and media. The dancing itself was amazing. I came back inspired!

Friday, April 21, 2006

21/04/2006 Time



Second exhibition this week...
I went to see "Time" by Mark Soosaar to one of the gallerys of the Tallinn Art Hall. The exhibition wasnt pu up a long time ago and will be taken off in the beginning of May, Huurrrry, I would say.

This project is a bit smaller than usual but it has much depth and good subjects. The exhibition consists of photos and a movie made on a novel(sorry to say that I cant quite recall the name of it but I will be back soon to correct myself)

The photos were of deserts and animals, ostly dead animals, just corpses lying around, going to waste, some bones visible. Dont get me wrong, the photos werent disgusting at all, they were rather just sad. There were also photos of flying birds and I think the whole exhibition was about showing the meaning of death and the difference between animals and us humans, who are supposed to be animals too( HEYY, arent we worse)=)...Anyone can guess instantly that the photos are about death and dying....The only photos of people in them were made on cemeteries, still in the desert...

Though the photos had a great point, they didnt quite amaze me and made me think that I wouldnt have much to write about, till I saw the movie from the screen in the backroom. It even managed to make the pictures more interesting and it made me draw parallels between the subjects of the exhibition...TO THE MOVIE....The clips in the movie were made in the end of the 80s and the movie was about the society, where humankind is diminished. The movie was about a man filming the empty cities with the few people visible and what one could see on the screen, was actually the clips the man had been filming. In the movie there were different locations from Tallinn to cities from around the World. The humankind had been diminished in the movie because of a WWIII which had been fatal to most, but not the animals, so one could see sheep walking around in big shopping centres without any disturbance, like it had been their real natural environment. It was funny to see that the war which would disembowel all of humankind had left standing all of he cities with practically no harm done=)...I just loved the sheep in the movie...they did stupid things....the movies voice was the memories of the man filming

I think the exhibition had many subjects but the main was to show that the World really can go on without the Homo Sapiens because maybe we are just a phase of evolution. my vision is that no, not maybe, but definetaly=)...Mark Soosaar just wants to know what time is, is time only ours and entirely mad up by us...or then again not?

All in all I liked it, but it raised many questions without answers....let us just wait for the future....

Till the next time=)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

13/04/2006 Violence & propaganda




Just ten minutes before i entered this building, I found myself visiting an exhibition in Tallinn Art Hall situated in Estonia, who doesnt happen to know that fact yet. The exhibition was set up quit recently and is being held up till the end of May. The exhibition is made out of the works of Elin Kard, Marco Laimre, Marko Mäetamm and Andres Tali.

First of all i would definetaly like to advise everybody near Tallinn to visit this exhibition because i dont think anybody will be able to see this exhibition outside Tallinn. Though there might be some exceptions, as some might not like the subject of the exhibition, but I thought it was good so unleash your critical "me" and go get an experience=)

Now, second of all, I am about to talk about the exhibition itself and the emotions it rose inside of me. I think that most people or creatures are able to guess the inside point of the exhibition by the heading already or should we say, by the cover.The exhibition is indeed truly critical and contains a lot of mocking of society, good to the mind I would say. The exhibitions main subject is definetaly the outstanding quarrel(softly put) between the western world and the Islam countries, or how about just the East. All of the works of the different artists were different but definetaly all linked because they were just thoughts with the same heading but from different people. The artists have clverly linked our society today with the one from the WWII in which the propaganda and the violence were more visible, for example the piece "Mein Kampf" in which Adolf Hitler was dressed up as an Islam woman. There were different pieces of the Danish flag also. The whole exhibiton coonsisted of many different works of art. There were paintings, drawings, scetches, sculptures, videos and a room full of art which was a work of art.

To me, personally, the exhibition was really wonderful and rose many funny thoughts. The way the artists showed us the meaning between a truely free and not-so-free society, which is full of propaganda and violence. The exhibition made me think, just think about the past and the future, and I rarely think of the future. For my own joy I found that the scarf-like thingy that Marco Laimre had used in his work had been worn by me when I was about 8 years old. It brought back funny memories. I think everyone will fins something from the exhibiton to oneself that will bring something back, how about memories...

The exhibition can be checked on the internet at www.kunstihoone.ee and more information about the artists can easily be found too, so use the google=)...

"...All I need is the gun..."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hello

Hello, Hello