Edith Karlson and Jass Kaselaan have studied together, worked together, and also exhibited together as the artist group “Hudnoi”. For the first time in seven years, they are again working together to create a new exhibition under the same title. Neither the name of the artist group nor the title of this exhibition means anything specific because the word was invented by the artists, and therefore it can’t be translated. Although their works may have been created using different mediums within sculpture and tackling different subjects, every now and then their practices meet and overlap to produce joint exhibitions such as this one.
Jass Kaselaan’s work has been described as monumental sculpture, and reminding us of a certain historical narrative, the artist creates large installations that fill the exhibition space both physically and conceptually, although never fulfilling the requirements of a monument. Never staying the same, Jass Kaselaan continuously explores different mediums and methods to create something new.
In this exhibition Jass Kaselaan will present his work “Toys”, which might appear simple at first; however, the portraits of animal toys are made using a complicated casting technique, creating unique pieces. The new installation continues the idea that he previously explored in his work “The Square of Dolls”. By creating representations of dolls as gigantic monuments or massive portraits of childhood toys, the resulting works take on different associations. The animal toys that the sculptures are based on were once important to the artist, but have since been lost. Therefore, each work has been sculpted without a model, using only the artist’s own memory.
Edith Karlson's work has been considered noteworthy for her use of new materials and the ability to create fantastic narratives that are closer to reality than one might initially perceive. Similar to Jass Kaselaan, Edith Karlson’s work takes over the exhibition space, and so, they create different worlds and realities for the viewer. Between irony and playfulness, her work tackles important questions vital to the human condition, mostly viewing society from a distance.
In this exhibition, Karlson will show several works each of which presents a similar subject using a different approach. While in her previous works Karlson has used animal figures to build up the narrative, in this exhibition the central focus is the human body and the mind, thereby changing her approach.
In the end, there are two important aspects in the work of both artists that are significant in this exhibition. Firstly, their chosen materials are important to both artists. Jass Kaselaan has used concrete, creating robust sculptures, while in contrast Edith Karlson has combined materials that are lighter and more subtle such as porcelain and silicone. Secondly, an existential quality is evident in both artists’ work creating powerful spatial experiences. The artists explore their subjects’ self-awareness, and through this their works can be seen as exploring different approaches to existence, although not so much about the manner of being.
Through the repetitive structure of the process of casting and cloning, the subject of the exhibition and the works of both artists become stronger and more comprehensive. The exhibition presents the individual artistic practices and mediums of both artists, and by taking over the space, their collaborative perspective after seven years becomes apparent.
Text by Agnese Lūcija Pundiņa
We would like to thank: Arthur Arula, Ingrid Allik, Taavi Kasemägi, Jaan Kompus, Art Allmägi, Raul Saaremets, Maria Ader, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Profielekter, Valmiermuiža brewery, Absolut Mixt, Kissa and Kris Lemsalu, Siim Soop.
Exhibition is supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment, Valmiermuiža brewery and Absolut Mixt.
Edith Karlson (1983) lives and works in Tallinn. She acquired an MA from the Estonian Academy of Arts installation and sculpture department in 2008. She received the Köler Prize Public’s Choice Award in 2015 and the Young Artist Award in 2006.
Her recent and upcoming exhibitions include: “Drama is in Your Head V”, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig (2018); “Hudnoi” with Jass Kaselaan, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2017–2018); “Everyone is Quilty”, Tallinn City Gallery (2016); “Beaten Up By A Thug, Saved By Kindness” (with Kris Lemsalu, Michèle Pagel, Ben Washington), Amatorska Gallery, London (2015); “Drama Is In Your Head IV: Don’t Look Down”, Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Tallinn (2014); “Drama Is In Your Head III”, Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn (2013); “Drama Is In Your Head II”, Tallinn City Gallery (2013). Karlson has collaborated on projects with Austrian art collective Gelitin and with British artist Sarah Lucas, including “Loch”, 21er Haus, Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna (2013); "Lucas Bosch Gelatin”, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2011). She has assisted Sarah Lucas in the production of the artist’s work for the British Pavillion at the 56th of Venice Biennale 2015.
Jass Kaselaan (1981) lives and works in Tallinn. He acquired an MA from the Estonian Academy of Arts installation and sculpture department in 2008. He is currently studying in the Academy’s animation department. Kaselaan received the Köler Prize First Prize in 2014, Kristjan Raud Art Award in 2014 and Anton Starkopf Scholarship in 2011.
His recent exhibitions include: “Hudnoi” with Edith Karlson, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2017–2018); “Still Life”, Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn (2016); “Lighthouse”, Tallinn City Gallery (2015) and Tartu Art House (2016); “The Square of Dolls” – “Köler Prize 2014. Exhibition of nominees”, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn (2014), The Arsenāls Exhibition Hall, Riga (2015) and Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn (since 2015); “The Sound of God”, Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn (2013); “Objects in the Field”, Draakoni Gallery, Tallinn (2013); “Garden”, Tartu Art House (2012); “Light is our strength”, Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn (2011) and Haapsalu City Gallery (2012).