Mark Raidpere DAMAGE!



opening vernissage on FRIDAY, August 2nd at 6 pm

Despite the fact that Mark Raidpere is one of the most internationally known Estonian artists, his last solo exhibitions in Tallinn date back to 2005 (Tallinna Linnagalerii) and 2006 (Kumu Art Museum), the last one in Estonia was at the Kunsthalle Pärnu in 2008.

The year 2005 was definitely a breakthrough year for the artist: Raidpere was chosen to represent Estonia at the Venice Biennale; he started working with the Gallery Michel Rein, and in the same year, he won the Hansabank Annual Art Award, which was the largest and most important in the region at that time. The period between 2006 and 2013 was marked by solo exhibitions in Naples, Paris, Istanbul, Glasgow, Hamburg and Krakow, not to mention participation in countless group shows throughout Europe and in the United States. He also won the Loop`08 Award, Gilles Dusein Prize and the Ars Fennica Award, all in one year (2008), almost in passing. The more successful the artist has been internationally, the fewer opportunities the Estonian audience has had to see his newer work, if we discount a few group shows here and there. One of the aims of this exhibition is to try and compensate for this omission.

The exhibition titled Damage focuses on Raidpere’s work in the post-Venice period by assembling mostly the works created between 2007 and 2013. One new video installation Pae Str. Playlist will be also be completed for this exhibition. The emphasis is on the latter years, and especially on the photographic series and videos that were conceived and realized in Naples during his residency at the Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples in 2012. This survey tries to capture the core of his current work, which is located conceptually between photo series that depict two cities – Tallinn and Naples. In 2002 Raidpere made a photo series depicting Tallinn, then kind of exceptional work in his overall oeuvre. Now, ten years later in 2012 he has portrayed Naples.

It is probably not an exaggeration to speak about a breakthrough in Raidpere’s work after the Venice Biennale, when, the obsessive mapping of the “family trap” and identity problems, which were his central focus, were joined by considerably more social topics.(Majestoso Mystico, 2007; 1:1:1 and Venkovka, 2008) At the same time, personal motives have not disappeared from his work. In many works displayed he continues the discursive “dissection” of his life and family dramas. (09/12/07 – 05/04/09, 2009; Pae Str Playlist, 2013) The series of self-portraits titled Damage, which was completed in Naples and which has given its name to this exhibition, could in some sense be a counterpart to his legendary Io, which was a series of post-traumatic self-portraits completed in 1997. The title of the Damage series refers to a film or rather to the epilogue of the film with the same name by Louis Malle. There, the main character played by Jeremy Irons tries in melancholic loneliness to cope with his life after a micro-catastrophe of his own creation has resulted in the loss of his son, wife and lover.

Exhibition is accompanied with the catalogue, the essays contributed by the co-curator of the exhibition Eugenio Viola and the French art critic Judith Quentel. Foreword was written as well as interview with the artist conducted by the other curator of the show Anders Härm. Catalogue is designed by Jan Tomson , published in co-operation with the Lugemik Publishers and with the help of two institutions that have played enormous role in Raidperes life: Galerie Michel Rein, Paris and Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples. The exact date and time of the presentation will be announced separately.

Anders Härm & Eugenio Viola

more information: Anders Härm +3725084570

special thanks to: Estonian Art Museum

thanks to: Cultural Endowment Foundation of Estonia, Galerie Michel Rein, Paris Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples