Corporal Punishment



A surprise curator’s exhibition is a format where the exhibition is compiled by a person who is not professionally related to art on a daily basis. EKKM chooses the curator, produces the exhibition but does not interfere with the curator’s selections. The curator is given a free hand to present his or her version of (contemporary) art and the exhibition as a medium, for the presentation of artists that are interesting to him or her. EKKM’s first surprise curator is the film director Marko Raat. Surprise curator exhibitions will start to occur regularly every two or three years.

Press release:

Corporal Punishment

artists: Saša Gerne, Mart Kangro, Kaja Kann / Juha Valkeapää, Mark Raidpere, Jaanus Samma, Nora Särak, Timo Toots

curator: Marko Raat

graphic designer: Jaanus Samma

The exhibition will be open from 2 September to 7 October 2012.

“I am not a sadist, at least not in the classical sense, although I recommend beating with a stick.” Sergei Speranski, a doctor of biology, says that corporal punishment helps people to overcome dependency and depression.

As a typical cure, scientists recommend 30 hourly sessions with 60 blows each. The flogger must be of average height and average strength. According to the other doctor that participated, he regularly beat 10 patients. “At first they did not like it, but when they started to feel the benefit they kept asking for more.”

(Postimees, 2005)

Bodies have always been beaten – because they exist or because of what one’s spirit or soul have dared to think or do. However, bodies have been punished the most by being ignored, forgetten or benumbed. The most effective method is to “talk them to death” or “silence them to death.” We do it all the time.

I am often bodily absent. I don’t know what to do with it besides the little that I already do. I don’t how to find an additional calling or will for my body, besides the vegetation of thoughts of desire, food and death.  I admire and envy those who can do this – who search and find meaning in and for their bodies; who deal with the interesting cognitive vacuum of how to feel and experience one’s body to a greater degree and more intensively; who are able to prick our physical and sensual constraints; to provoke a strange and contradictory sensual euphoria that can only be created by physical touch.

I am EKKM’s first “surprise curator”. As a filmmaker I am in a constant decision-making cycle comprised of listening and watching “great stories” and often not being surprised by their boring repetition. I would like it if this weren’t so, but as a rule a GREAT STORY dies in seconds under the weight of meanings and universal humanity. The obscurity and, mystery disappears along with that elusive “something,” which makes art into art, and gives the meaning of life to the slipper on the windowsill.

I have observed at length and with interest the doings of several artists and dancers that are important to me and searched for a long time for an excuse to do something together with them. EKKM’s proposal provided a great opportunity to assemble the “Small Corporal Stories” of these artists, which have had a powerful effect on me personally – some a long time ago, others recently, and some that will be born for this exhibition – and to lure them into coming together in same room at the same time. And to make a film with and of them, in the form of an exhibition on the third floor of EKKM, titled Corporal Punishment. Which started now.


Marko Raat

More information:

Anders Härm

tel: 50 84570


Thanks to the Estonian Museum of Art. Exhibition supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia

exhibition team:  Neeme Külm, Jaak Ollino, Tanel Toomsalu, Ivo Felt, Matis Rei, Indrek Kangro, Erik Norkroos, Tarmo Tõnnus, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo, Toomas Übner, Johannes Säre, Marten Esko Karel Koplimets, Fred Laur, Minna Hint