NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Here, in this exhibition, you can see Mihkel Ilusa's new works, which were completed during December, and in that sense he feels that they have been in close contact with the new findings and inevitability that has just passed. He tries to describe in his own way how, where we are used to perceiving a pulse, it is not present at the moment, but on the other hand, in seeming stiffness one can perceive tension and also see freedom of movement. Perhaps this exhibition is also a desire to describe some inner unrest wrapped in winter silence. It is more likely that he knows who he is and how he is, but the dissonance with the outside grows more and more blatantly, because sometimes there is an annoying impression that the government or a neighbor or whoever else tends to know better how we should be. The explanatory work is how he tries to describe how to be.

The exhibition opens in three chapters.

The first focuses on the poetic. When entering the gallery, you have to go through easels that remind you of a gathering group of people. After them, a spacious and clear room with a very minimalist design opens. For me, it represents an opportunity to look inside. Notice that the purpose of art can also be to provide silence. I explain. One hundred years ago, Henri Matisse came up with the idea that the country should give a person the same holiday that a sofa offers after a tiring day of work. But let’s remember that we didn’t have a TV in every home then, screens in our pockets to watch for days. I believe that they are tiring rather than giving a holiday, but people are still attracted by the idea that they should flee into the pictures. Another work to remember was performed half a century ago – John Cage’s “4.33” but the audience listened for almost five minutes of silence. And that silence is never empty. During this time, we begin to notice the voices among the audience, the body language of the musicians, the peculiarities of the space. We understand that the same silence would be different in every room and situation. I have liked the idea and the focus on the unexpected. I have not come across such clear and large figures in painting, but I feel that I want to move in that direction.

For my part, I suggested a situation in the gallery room where everything is a bit inverted. In the large hall, the light is turned towards the audience instead. I have paid attention to the visitor and left my works in the background. The works on the wall in that room might be worth taking with light humor. The paintings have the word “neurosis”. It’s a pun on people’s expectations of what a painting must be. You always want something new – please: NEU. And, of course, it would be necessary for the painting to be beautiful or depicting nature, decorative – and see, that’s: ROSE. Most importantly, however, the painting, being traditional, must sharply feel the spirit of the era, describe modern man. My opinion on this through humor: NEUROOS. And obviously I will already explain, but what to do, the title of the exhibition is like this. My real expectation is that the audience will try to explain to themselves what expectations have come to this gallery. I want us to better understand our expectations of art and myself, but I will also say that my role is not to provide it, because I am not a mind reader. I still do my own thing, which is to offer silence in this chapter.

The second chapter will be the most active. There we see how the paintings become absurd picketing posters in the exhibition, and the easels form a paramilitary group, a group of fanatics, a spontaneous resistance group, preachers, wanderers or a pagan knows what else.

It is too early to talk about the third chapter. Let’s focus on the first one.

Mihkel Ilus

Gallery name: Haapsalu Linnagalerii

Address: Posti 3, Haapsalu

Opening hours: Wed-Sun 12:00 - 18:00

Open: 07.01.2021 - 31.01.2021