Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn: Afterlives of Gardens

Afterlives of Gardens

10.05.13–08.09.13  11:00–18:00

Kumu exhibition spaces
3rd floor B-wing, 5th floor, and Inner Courtyard

Afterlives of Gardens deals with garden and park culture from the 19th century until the present day. The exhibition includes the works of Estonian and foreign artists, starting with paintings and prints, and ending with live plants and installations that encompass entire rooms. The exhibition is accompanied by books, as well as public and educational programmes.

"Gardens are part of nature, being inseparable from the concepts of landscape, country place, and wild nature. They are associated with mythical places, like the Garden of Eden, Arcadia and the Elysian Fields," said Eha Komissarov, the curator of the contemporary section of the exhibition. "At the same time, parks and gardens are signs of humanised nature, the birth of which has been guided by the idea of achieving spiritual enjoyment that is experienced in multidimensionality."

New environments are created in the course of the exhibition and the works live on as images in countless associations.

The part of exhibition on the third floor of the museum, which deals with a period including the 19th and early 20th centuries and was curated by Liis Pählapuu, reveals the mutual relationships between art, beauty, traditions and nature. At the same time, the contrast between the influences of Baltic-German culture and the period of Estonian independence in fine art is highlighted. On the fifth floor, contemporary artists and architects deal with the transformation of space and the relations between culture and nature. In the last few decades, the spread of urbanism and ecological lifestyles have mediated the inclusion of new and productive art platforms.

The viewers can search for the works of art in the audio-based open air project titled "Kõndides mööda salateid (While Walking on Secret Paths / While Walking on Salads)" curated by Margit Säde Lehn, which will take place in the Kumu courtyard. The installation called "Pineapple or Artichoke?" initiated by the Estonian Academy of Arts covers the Kumu promenade staircase with plants gathered from the abandoned gardens of Tallinn.

The exhibition continues on the former site of the Estonian Academy of Arts, where a 65-metre concrete installation called "TABLE" brings life and creativity back to one of the most important squares in the city. Workshops, exhibitions, performances, film and music events, picnics and parties will take place at the art object, which is intended to be a meeting and gathering place.

The artists include: Arne Maasik, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Liina Siib, Su Grierson, Kyra Clegg, Laura Kuusk, Jaanus Samma, Minna Hint, Kristiina Hansen, Johannes Säre, Timo Toots, Mare Tralla, Anni Kagovere, Jakob Schmitt, Siim-Tanel Annus, Paco Ulman, Taavi Talve, Marje Taska, Ilmar Taska, Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid, Kirke Kangro, Ilkka Halso, Mare Vint, Leida Ilo, Mari-Liis Tammi, Krista Mölder, Liina Lõõbas, Lilleoru kogukond, Eve Arpo, Grete Veskiväli, Adrian Piper, Lucie Kolb, Tina Melzer, Caroline Bergvall, Paul Elliman, Kenneth Goldsmith, Kadri Klementi, Louise Lawler, Erkki Luuk & c:, Raul Meel, Cia Rinne, Triin Tamm, Martijn in't Veld, Lauri Eltermaa, Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla, Ahti Grünberg, Tõnis Kalve.

Supporters and cooperation partners include: the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Pro Helvetia, the British Council, U.S. Embassy, Estonian Academy of Arts, and the following companies and nonprofits: Lasita Maja, Kivisilla, Kiviluks, Hakk, Hansaplant, E-Betoonelement, BetooniStuudio, Kaarlaid, Helaakoski Kraanad, Silmani Elekter, Europark Estonia, Avatud Ateljeed, Juhani Nursery, Viamer Grupp, RGB Baltic, Kekkilä Eesti, Akone, Fiskars Estonia, and Hortes Garden Centre.

The exhibition is accompanied by two books, and the publication titled Afterlives of Gardens 1, which will appear on opening day (authors Liis Pählapuu and Tõnu Õnnepalu, designer Angelika Schneider).

Exhibition Afterlives of Gardens will be open at the Kumu Art Museum until 8 September 2013.


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