NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

NB! A FREE Festival Bus from Tallinn to Pärnu leaves at 14:00 from Vene Kultuurikeskus ((Põhja Puiestee) and returns to Tallinn about 23:00. Seats are available by reservation only. Contact

The Pärnu Fotofest, the new Pärnu art festival that was initiated by the City Gallery three years ago, has undertaken to enliven the art life of the city during the wintery off-season, and to reveal various facets of photographic art to the public. From late January to late February, thematic exhibitions that are part of the festival programme will be on display in most of the city’s exhibition spaces.

This year’s programme will take place simultaneously with the Pärnu Contemporary Music Days, and share the common theme of ‘Error in the System’, by searching for errors and dislocations in photographic art and music, and attempting to capture deviations in the content, form as well as interpretation of the works. The PCMD and Fotofest include seminars, workshops, concerts, the collective listening and viewing of works, and various exhibitions.

The exhibitions’ great opening rally will start at 4 p.m. on January 23rd.


FOTOFEST 2020 opening programme: 

16:00 Pärnu City Gallery / Town Hall (Uus 4, Pärnu)

Perception Games V is an exhibition that brings together Baltic and Nordic photographic artists whose work is focused, to a greater or lesser degree, on ‘non-traditional’ photography, i.e. that which is not only produced using a camera to reflect a reality that is similarly understandable to us all, and cannot be actualised as a thin sheet of paper in a carefully selected frame or pink album. A photo may be born without camera from the artist’s breath or from digital dislocations, or could change in the course of the creative process into a sculpture or installation. In addition to form issues, “faults” are also sought in the substance that mirrors the world around us as an imperfect system.

Participating artists: Andrey Bogush, Jan Leo Grau, Hertta Kiiski, Ede Raadik, Tuomo Rainio, Noora Sandgren, Kristel Schwede, Paulius Šliaupa

Curators: Marian Kivila, Jan Leo Grau

4:30 p.m. Pärnu Central Library

The Positiiv Gallery presents Vivian Ansalu’s exhibition called Mirage in the staircase gallery of the Pärnu Central Library. The exhibition is comprised of photos taken of the Venice canals, which capture reflections of the local architecture and atmosphere in a in a kind of reality-distorting way.

Sandra Jõgeva’s solo exhibition called The Seven Deadly Sins at the Pärnu Central Library provides an ironic analysis of the conflicts, disputes and misunderstandings of the small Estonian art world. The real reason for these problems is the struggle for scarce resources and the corrupt methods employed in an effort to win these battles. The Seven Deadly Sins illustrates a situation in which an artist finds oneself when referencing systematic errors and pointing out the issues related to the art world. After some public appearances, the artist has found herself as the target of resentment by several leading arts institutions.  Both the real people themselves and the descriptions of the problem are now being presented to the audience through photos printed on wafer paper. 

Soul & Body, a performance-art-documenting series that Alar Raudoja has been recording through his photo lens since 2006, and which has secured a definite place on the Pärnu art landscape, looks back at us from the windows of the Pärnu Central Library reading room.

5:00 p.m. Pärnu Endla Theatre

Pärnumaa Foto is a competitive exhibition with a long tradition that is taking place for the 15th year in a row. The exhibition was initiated by the editorial board of the Pärnu Postimees, and was originally a large-scale public photo exhibition. Pictures of pets and the beautiful nature of Pärnu County were submitted to the exhibition annually. Over the years, the more professional side of photographic art began to dominate. Pets are no longer included in the exhibition, and instead, the focus is on capturing wonderful and unique moments at a high artistic level. Works that represent the main theme (“Viga süsteemis”/Error in the System) have been contributed by photographic artists from the city and county of Pärnu. 

+ Anonymous Boh “Lost in Paradise” and Priit Loog “This is not Ita Ever”

6:00 p.m. Pärnu Museum

The exhibition by Italian photojournalist Luca Berti called Eye to Eye. Between Man and Nature

conveys Estonian culture, national peculiarities and the everyday life of Estonians through the eyes of an outsider. It tells the story of “unknown” Estonia, of everyday village life, the ordinary people who live in the countryside, against a background of old farms, fields and churches. These profound and emotional images of people in their natural element can also be described as cultural anthropological material. The enchanting photos that extol simpler situations capture something essential in Estonians. The exhibition summarises the results of a photographic journey that took place between 2015 and 2017.  


6:45 p.m. Pärnu City Gallery / Artists’ House (Nikolai 27)

The link between the Pärnu Fotofest and Pärnu Contemporary Music is The Aesthetic of Error curated by Paul Beaudoin, PhD, a visual artist and composer, which takes a closer look at the term glitch artand its expression in sound, video and still images. 

Participating artists include: Kaspar Aus, Jared Bruni, Paul Beaudoin, Mathieu St. Pierre, David White, Jared Scott Waniger, Tulio Militao, Roland Kuit, white calx, Jérôme Henriette, Love Törngren amongst others.

All the exhibitions will be open until 22 February 2020  (Luca Berti’s exhibition at Pärnu Museum will be open until 29.03.2020)

Festival sponsors: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Pärnu City Government, Avangard Gallery

Gallery name: Pärnu Linnagalerii Kunstnike Maja

Address: Nikolai 27, Pärnu

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11:00 - 17:00, Sat 11:00 - 14:00

Open: 23.01.2020 - 22.02.2020