NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform
TAGS: MyEstonia?  

Archeology of Decline, 2018

84.1 x 118.8 cm

The artist´s comment on the artwork:

“This is the story of my “dive” into Estonia. It begins with my entering the Department of Urban Studies in EKA. Our studios were concentrated on the topic of declining cities in Estonia. So, starting from Tallinn, I keep going deeper and deeper into the diversity of this country. The most intriguing experience I’ve got was in the city named Tamsalu. My work is devoted to this place.

If you start to search on the Internet for the word “Tamsalu”, the first proposed link will be the Wikipedia page: “Tamsalu is a town in Lääne-Viru County, Estonia . The town was first mentioned in 1512 . After that, it was on the railroad line from Tartu to Tallinn. It was given municipality rights in 1996 ”. What can we understand about the place itself from this description?

Only that it is somewhere in-between two biggest cities in Estonia. And in the very beginning of the studio our research topic was said to be “declining of Tamsalu”. The clearest explanation of this term is the process of losing the value of things/interest of them or misunderstanding of it essence. Everyone has their own perception of what exactly can be valuable. In the market economy, this decision follows an idea of maximizing the usefulness of things, based on value-extraction.

Sometimes, there is nothing special in objects surrounding us: destroyed houses or trash in the streets. We lose our attention to these things because it is impossible to take anything from it. At the same time, there is something that catches your attention, something that can represent the place through time, especially for an outsider. And this “something” became my possibility to present Tamsalu as it is.

These things, rejected by a population of a certain area, forgotten “human-made items”, turn into the artefacts which acquire an archaeological value and allow to see a number of different leftover time-space zones of Tamsalu. I think if you really want to understand something you don’t have to find logical explanations. Sometimes the irrational is the strongest argument. This studio was called “Design with Decline” and my work being evaluated with a D (decline in studying progress) became the symbol of completing the studio and successfully catching the essence of Tamsalu.”