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Do Come in, the Door is Open! Edith Karlson, Mary Reid Kelley and Eva Mustonen

Do Come in, the Door is Open! Edith Karlson, Mary Reid Kelley and Eva Mustonen

Time: 11.10.19–29.03.20  00:00–00:00
Location: Kumu exhibition spaces

The title of the exhibition is a quote taken from the legendary Estonian TV series Õnne 13 (translates directly as “13 Happiness Street”): this is how the shoemaker Johannes, a classically jovial and wise old man, used to greet any guest knocking on his door. This essentially friendly utterance expresses openness and hospitality even before the host has seen the newly arrived acquaintance or stranger. Today, years after the TV series became a classic, such trust in the unknown seems unexpectedly relevant, almost like a political statement, and is therefore worth recalling. But, within the context of this exhibition, it is also an absurd invitation: you are asked without any guarantee whatsoever to enter a distorted-mirror environment which is rooted in things mundane or personal and aims to take a more general stand on contemporary neuroses and tensions.

The exhibition consists of works by three artists who, despite working in different media and completely dissimilar aesthetics, speak somewhat similar languages. The art practices of Edith Karlson, Eva Mustonen and Mary Reid Kelley can, in the broadest terms, be characterised as narrative art that uses fiction as a method. In their works, this takes the form of allegorical, autobiographical or mythological narratives and is also manifested through the creation of strong characters (people as well as objects) and mostly dramatic events. In other words, all three artists are essentially type-wise storytellers who use both words and visual images, often combining the two, to tell their stories.

The exhibition, mixing well-known pieces by the artists with their newest works, stretches out in front of the viewer as a loosely integrated set of stories, gradually unfolding through four keywords which play with ideas related to openness, entry or border: “monster”, “body”, “home” and “explosion”.


Curator: Triin Tulgiste

Exhibition designer: Arthur Arula

Graphic designer: Tuuli Aule

We thank: Maria Ader, Maria Luiga, Kristina Oras, Katrin Kissa, Kim Taniel, Kris Lemsalu, Raul Saaremets, Nikolai Karlson, Lya Karlson, Urmas Karlson, Liisi Rünkla, Diana Tamane, Mari Volens, Piret Karro, Liina Raus, Kristjan Nagla and Kaisa Reimand and Kaja Arula

With the support of: the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Kafo and Vaibaparadiis

Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley. Swinburne’s Pasiphae. Video still. 2014. Courtesy of the artists