Location: 5th floor, Gallery of Contemporary Art
The coronavirus pandemic, which took the world by storm in the spring of 2020, has caused a crisis in our current way of life all over the globe: in addition to extensive restrictions on people’s movement, almost all public buildings (such as schools, theatres and art museums) had to be closed. The contemporary art gallery of Kumu was also forced to stop all planned exhibition activities; nevertheless, the museum’s inaccessibility to the public made the museum employees think of alternative practices and come up with new ideas.
The Kumu Art Museum set up a collaboration with the artist Flo Kasearu (born in 1985), whose earlier work had stood out for its responsive and poignant approach to people and institutions. Working mainly with performance, installation and video art, and by combining fact with fiction, the artist creates telling and timely images. In this project, she focussed on the museum as an autonomous ecosystem and examined the changes in the daily operation of the museum by recording the new daily routines of the museum’s most visible employees: invigilators.
The work of art entitled State of Emergency is a large-scale video installation portraying eight invigilators in a completely novel situation. These people, who would normally be working in the various halls of the museum, have been relocated in their uniforms to places where they usually like to spend their free time: in parks and bogs, in their summer cottages and home gardens. It required unusually quick action on the part of both the artist and the museum to capture the emergency situation in a work of art, but it resulted in a tranquil video project: one of the first recordings of the new, turbulent era.
Curator: Kati Ilves
Cinematographer: Epp Kubu
Sound: Juhan Vihterpal
Exhibition design: Tõnu Narro
Graphic design: Kätlin Tischler
We thank: Raido Pedak, Kadi Tuulik