The Project Space: Dialogue. Mare Vint and Jaanus Samma
Location: 4th floor, Project Space
The project space on the 4th floor of Kumu is a mobile extension of the permanent display of Soviet Estonian art, with the intent of creating a dialogue between artists from different generations.
The oeuvre of Mare Vint (b. 1942) is rooted in the art of the late 1960s. The culture of the time was shaped by contradictory impulses; the major change in the art of the younger generation of artists back then concerned the understanding of the nature and functions of images. The focal point and purpose of a picture were no longer (necessarily) the self-expression of the artist; the world of imagery was instead viewed as something separate to give meaning to, make generalisations about, distort and order reality. Mare Vint’s drawings and graphic art depict combinations of natural motifs and architectural elements, park landscapes and garden views in order to find repetitions and regularities in the images that help us see the meeting of man and nature not only as violent and chaotic, but also as balanced and harmonious.
Jaanus Samma (b. 1982) started his career as an artist in the second half of the 2000s; the themes and strategies in his oeuvre, as well as in its world, seem to be diametrically opposed to Mare Vint’s work at first glance. His best-known project is NSFW. A Chairman’s Tale, which represented Estonia at the Venice Biennale in 2015, and tells the dramatic story of a legendary homosexual collective farm leader, showing a completely different cultural layer of Soviet Estonia than in Vint’s ideal landscapes. On closer inspection, the oeuvres of the two authors contain similar elements (Samma’s works also include repeated park motifs) and issues. They both take the mundane as their starting point, but go on to make it aesthetic and exalted to the point where a new reality is born. Vint does that by purging the unnecessary from the mundane, and Samma by distorting and, at the same time, elevating the mundane.
Vint and Samma’s first joint exhibition Mare Vint. PARK. Jaanus Samma took place in 2010 at the Tam Gallery in Tallinn. At the Kumu exhibition, Jaanus Samma’s installation of a photo and two classical sculptures reflects and comments on Mare Vint’s oeuvre.
Curator: Anu Allas
Exhibition design: Jaanus Samma
Graphic design: Kätlin Tischler