DJ and music lover, presenter and record store enthusiast Kaarel Valter left us as a result of a bad illness last February. This year, on February 28, he would have celebrated his 36th birthday. The current memorial exhibition exhibits a selection of photos taken by Kaarel himself.
Kaarel’s death has not really reached many friends to this day. On the one hand, memory with its strange neural processes refuses to let go of the dear person, while on the other hand, no one seems to want to accept the situation and thus self-indulgently we dig into pictures of memory. Kaarel would rather not like this kind of wallowing in self-pity (although he could do it well himself), but he would approve of immersing oneself in images. Many know that in addition to cinematography Kaarel was a passionate fan of photography. While in his youth he experimented with various old SLR cameras, in recent years he always had some new (old) ’soap camera’ in his pocket, with the aim of capturing everyday life and its special moments. It sounds a bit clichéd, but looking through his negatives, it seems that taking pictures became particularly intense in the last year of his life, as if he was… Ah, let it go. It is not the most important thing anymore.
At least three portraits emerge in these photographs. First of all, a self-portrait of Kaarel himself, as reflected on the amused faces of the people he portrayed. The second portrait features the same faces – family and closest friends – with whom he was intimate, direct, funny, and serious. Thirdly, this exhibition is, in a sense, a composite portrait of the independent club scene of Tallinn in the 2010s. One could say that this exhibition has the face of one generation’s coming to terms with life. Although Kaarel was cross-generational, as it seemed to many.
The name of the exhibition cites the characteristically self-ironic title of Kaarel’s radioshow Seinast seina tapeediks [Wall to Wall Wallpaper] on IDA radio, where he shared hundreds of hours of new and old music with listeners over the years. Instead of sounds, this time we share pictures.
The exhibition was put together by Helmi Arrak, Johann 3000, Kersten Kõrge, Natalie Mets, Gregor Taul and Ann Valter. We wish to thank Kaarel’s family, friends, Momentin Baltics and Coca-Cola HBC Estonia.
The exhibition will remain open until April 29, the gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday from 12:00 to 18.00 and Saturday from 12-16