Seminar Likeness in Difference. Perspectives on Baltic Regional Art History 13/05/2022 – 14/05/2022

Kumu Art Museum
The Emmissionists (Pollucionisti). Series „Bizarred Riga“ (Savadota Riga). Photomontage. 1978. Collection of ABLV Bank, AS in liquidation
Lecture or talk

Seminar Likeness in Difference. Perspectives on Baltic Regional Art History

Location: Estonian Academy of Arts, Kumu Art Museum
The working language at the seminar is English.

The seminar jointly organised by the Art Museum of Estonia and the Estonian Academy of Arts brings together art researchers and curators from the three Baltic countries. The art history of the Soviet period serves as the point of departure for the seminar.

The regional, comparative, and international focus on an analysis of cultural practices and the respective institutional conditions establishes a basis for presentations on both shared and individual experiences, facilitates studying their causes and backgrounds, and helps to challenge the established narratives that we construct and reproduce about our own art histories and those of others.

The meanings and self-understanding of the Baltics as a geopolitical and cultural region have changed several times throughout history. In the field of culture, the frequent interaction between the three Baltic republics in the Soviet time was replaced by narratives of national independence in the 1990s. Because of the polarised world perception of the Cold War era, the three countries sought to define themselves through these narratives as part of either Eastern Europe or the West. Therefore, their interest in one another and the sense of shared regional characteristics remained in the background for quite some time. Nevertheless, the last few years have witnessed changes in several spheres (of culture), which have served as a launch pad for a more active and productive dialogue.

Art museum of Estonia Research activities

The two-day seminar has been divided into six panels. Topics vary from photography and studies of the heritage of women artists to analyses of Soviet exhibition activities and experimental art practices. Presentations will also deal with real and imaginary art collectives and pose future-oriented questions about potential trans-Baltic research topics, exhibition projects and new theoretical approaches that provide the necessary framework. The aim is to explore intersections between the participants’ research interests and activities, and to prepare a foundation for future cooperation projects.

Booklet PDF


Friday, 13 May
Estonian Academy of Arts (Põhja pst 7 room A101)

Opening Remarks
Anu Allas, Eda Tuulberg

I Baltic Socialist Art Histories Through Contemporary Critical Perspectives
Moderator: Ieva Astahovska
Linda Kaljundi, Ieva Astahovska, Inga Lāce

13.00–14.00 Lunch

II Avenues and side-roads: future transnational research in the Baltics, methodologies, trends, and perspectives from inside and outside
Moderator: Inga Lace
Eglė Juocevičiūtė, Gregor Taul, Toms Ķencis

16.00–16.15 Break

III Real and Imagined Alliances
Moderator: Andres Kurg
Liisa Kaljula, Laine Kristberga, Adomas Narkevičius

Saturday, 14 May
Kumu Art Museum Auditorium(Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1)

Opening Remarks
Kadi Polli, Eda Tuulberg

I Exhibiting Identities and Imaginations
Moderator: Maria-Kristiina Soomre
Kädi Talvoja, Karolina Jakaitė, Māra Traumane

13.00–14.00 Lunch

II Encounters with “Other Feminisms”: Theory and Curating in the Baltics
Moderator: Anu Allas
Laima Kreivytė, Jana Kukaine, Ingrid Ruudi

16.00–16.15 Break

III Invisible Photography
Moderator: Annika Toots
Alise Tifentale, Agnė Narušytė, Annika Toots

The event is supported by the European Development Fund.