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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Curator Brigita Reinert

In the broadest sense, this exhibition looks at the material culture and the stories, meanings, and transformations that lie in it. There has been a long tradition in society to admire objects of tangible culture from the past, but how do we connect with objects in our contemporary society that surrounds us daily? This exhibition explores the social stories, hopes, and desires that have settled in the matter around us. Artists are like anthropologists who study the different meanings of things through form, materials, usage functions and socio-cultural histories.

What kind of expectations, and meanings tie us with things around? And how does one influence his own perceptions, understandings, and habits through the material things he constantly creates around him? In our daily lives, things play an important role in both material and immaterial ways. We fetish their utilitarian or aesthetic qualities, but rarely think about their possible additional meanings and hidden potentials. “Chatty Matter” is based on visual and tactical research on things that have lost their function, or which function is unknown or yet undiscovered. What purposes, meanings, and ways of being manifest in things that surround us every day, when we remove the ideological meanings and utility functions attributed by man?

Artists are fascinated by situations where objects have lost their purpose or commute between function and aesthetics. Through the study of decorative semi-functional things, Saarits investigates objects in which the social desirability of success and dreams of consumerism have materialized. By observing the origin stories of different things, she also analyses the topic of “thingliness” and the ontological meanings of things in a wider context. Mertes however, combines special types of materials and parts of commodities and is engaged in rethinking the perceptions and everyday habits related to things around us. Emphasizing on the material presence of the work of art and having the desire to abandon the semantic baggage of things and materials, she thus opens up their new possible meanings and uses.

Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova (LV/NL)

Thanks to: Club-Mate Eesti, Trükikoda Paar, Looming Hostel, Siim Preiman, Ingrid Allik, Brita Kaasik, Taavi Rei, Age Linkmann, Darja Andrejeva, Lauri Lest, Helena Keskküla, Kadri Villand, Eva-Erle Lilleaed, Mati Schönberg, Marten Esko.

The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia; the gallery is supported by the city of Tartu.

Gallery name: Kogo gallery

Address: Kastani 42, Tartu

Opening hours: Wed-Fri 12:00 - 19:00, Sat 12:00 - 18:00 and by appointment, +372 5577592

Open: 09.02.2019 - 23.03.2019