Soft Scrub, Hard Body, Liquid Presence observes a shift taking place in the realm of our aesthetic and emotional sensibilities. The exhibition wonders if our over-consumption of virtual space, and submitting to the stress of competition and acceleration has provoked a deep mutation in the psychosphere, it explores the zombified body as a response to today’s evolving societal structures.
Today, individuals suffer under the duress of a continuously fractured and precarious landscape and—even more acutely—an understanding of the self. Looking particularly to the female perspective, the exhibition attempts to address this uncanny, post-accelerationist body in its new surroundings, questioning our state of turmoil, loneliness, and uncertainty surrounding the future.
Merike Estna, born in 1980, is an Estonian artist whose work inscribes the vocabularies of painting onto scenery and stage design, inviting visitors to activate her artworks with artist-made drinks, snacks, and napkins. Her recent work questions the gendered separations of painting, craft discourses, and digital communication. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Painting, and from Goldsmiths College, University of London with a Master’s degree in Fine Art Practice. Her work is featured in current and upcoming exhibitions at London Kunstraum; SIC Gallery in Helsinki, Finland; Karen Huber Gallery in Mexico City; and Kim? Riga. www.genialmythcraft.com
Maria Metsalu, born in 1990, is an Estonian choreographer and performer. Her works express an ongoing interest in self-mythologization and autopoiesis via new, corporate technologies in an attempt to understand their unique terms of social exchange and transformation. Metsalu graduated from SNDO (School for New Dance Development) in 2016, and is one of the founding members of international performance group Young Boy Dancing Group. Her work has been shown in Manifesta 11, Kunsthalle Vienna, Tallinn Art Hall, and the 2016 NU Performance Festival, Corporate Occult_let’s talk about the body baby in Tallinn, Estonia. www.maria.metsalu.com
Maria Arusoo, born in 1983, is an Estonian curator and director of the Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia. Since 2013 she has been the Commissioner for the Estonian Pavilion at Venice Biennial, executing large-scale commissions by Dénes Farkas and Adam Budak (2013), Jaanus Samma and Eugenio Viola (2015) and Katja Novitskova and Kati Ilves (2017). Recent independent curatorial projects include: CORPORATE OCCULT, let’s talk about the body baby, NU Performance (2016), which presented works by international artists that dealt with contemporary issues surrounding gender and the body; Art in the Era of Digital Capitalism (2016), a conference considering the tendencies of acceleration and post-2011 institutional alternatives, which included Franco Bifo Beradi as its keynote speaker; and numerous others.
Lugemik is an independent publishing initiative based in Tallinn, Estonia, founded in 2010 by graphic designer Indrek Sirkel and artist Anu Vahtra. Lugemik publishes books and other printed matter, working closely together with artists, writers, designers, and printers in every step of the publishing process. In 2013 Lugemik opened a bookshop on the premises of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) and in 2017 its second location in collaboration with Tallinn Art Hall. www.lugemik.ee