NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

''I understood completely what these women were talking about around the table. They didn´t have to complete each other´s sentences to reach an agreement. They were fucked up, a lifelong achievement, as somehow they had become artists and now, it seemed, there was no relief to their situation. By themselves, with their own hands, they had separated the world from their creations, and without noticing what such a theoretical turn might bring, they found themselves, quite suddenly, in a bitter-tasting and a very personal hell.''

The exhibits on the show pose creativity as learned helplessness. Attempts to combine personal life with creative process take tragicomical turns. All three artists seem to lack common sense to tackle normal situations. Job hunting becomes a detailed roleplay, fermenting cabbages – an oral history, and an everyday attempt of being productive ends up, more often than not, scrolling through adverts about chihuahua puppies. Something is always amiss, either the numbers on the bank account or the worldview. The prestigious, but underwhelming position of an artist in nowadays society makes one feel useless. How to tell nothingness to fuck off? How to put apple back into one´s eye?

Three friends and colleagues, Jenny, Madlen and Eva, have thrown themselves into Don Quixotesque fight against invisible enemies, and though idiots can get their ass kicked even in church, it might just be that the next day their pounding heads are woken by the bright sun. Let’s dream together.

Madlen Hirtentreu (b. 1993) mainly studies mental and physical territorial restrictedness in her artwork, with the emphasis on finding new means in order to manipulate the situation. Her kinetic sculptures, installations and performances can be characterized by the blend of Frankenstein-esque technique and corporeal uncanniness, attraction towards absurd and eclectic choice of materials. The latter often acquires the role of archiver and recorder of feelings in her work. Hirtentreu has studied visual culture and economy in Italy as well as obtained MA degree in the department of installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She takes moderately part in various projects and exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad as well as gets involved in other fields, such as a lab desk, factory or an office chair. Currently lives and works in Tallinn.

Jenny Grönholm (b. 1988) mainly focuses on painting in her artist’s practice and depicts daily motifs of animals and people in her life. These otherwise bright details of her everyday have been enshrouded by steadfast melancholy colours, thus turning the artwork seemingly inaccessible and unreliable for the viewers. Scenes in her paintings rather tend to have the effect of emerging memories than real situations. Her work is often formed into series representing one and the same repetitive motif, thus emphasizing even more the chronological indetermination and impossibility to escape the dreamlike situation. Despite the uncannily monotonous daily life depicted in Grönholm’s work, the effect is not oppressive but rather soothingly peaceful if one accepts the repetitive pattern. Jenny Grönholm has obtained BA degree in the department of printmaking and MA degree in the department of installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has taken part in personal and group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad. Currently living and working in Virtsu and Tallinn, combining her artist’s practice with observing the roe deer.

Eva Mustonen (b. 1986) combines time-consuming textile techniques, solid woodwork, diary-like excerpts of text, products of daily life and second-hand found objects for depicting her personal stories. Mustonen’s humorous installations are based on DIY aesthetics. Her artwork can be viewed through the perspective of feminist art where the private is often accompanied by the political voice. Eva Mustonen has studied textile art and semiotics in Tartu and Gothenburg, also taken additional courses in the department of installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Currently lives and works in Tallinn.

Gallery name: AV17 Gallery

Address: Totorių g. 5, Vilnius

Opening hours: Tue-Sat 12:00 - 19:00

Open: 07.08.2019 - 02.09.2019