Museum files I: Collected Principles


The first public display of

the collection of Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia



June 19 – July 17, 2011

Opening Reception on Saturday, June 18th at 6 pm

The collection of EKKM, which, like every living collection, is

continually supplemented is however not an ordinary public or private

collection, for both conceptual reasons related to the institutional

practices of EKKM and purely material reasons related to the lack of

money. Firstly, EKKM has never had any budget for collecting and EKKM

also has relatively little depository space for storing the collection,

not to mention the proper conditions for preservation. Yet, we didn`t

want to get the artists’ works for free or to engage in blackmail like

the Soviet-era “art beggars”. Therefore, EKKM collects primarily, but

not exclusively, intangibly — at the idea level. The collection is a

conceptual set of works, ideas and matter, the majority of which is

acquired through symbolic exchanges if not the artists have decided to

donate the works. In many cases, the artists have been paid with

resources that are detached from ordinary economic activities by using a

barter system, or by using agreement that are reached for acquiring the

works of art in some other way. The acquisition of works can be roughly

divided into the following three groups:

a) through a conceptual transaction between the artist and institution;

b) strategic commissions by the institution;

c) donations and deposits.

The exhibition titled /Collected Principles/, during which the works

collected during EKKM’s first four years of operation will be exhibited

for the first time, will try to demonstrate the manner of acquisition

along with the works of art. By making the movement of symbolic

conceptual capital between the institution and artist visible, the

connections and relationships that are usually hidden from the public

will also become visible. At the same time, the act of acquiring a work

of art can also be interpreted as an artistic act — an institution’s

“answer” to the artist; as a meta-artistic interpretation which now and

hereafter will be an indivisible part of the work of art.

press release was compiled by

Anders Härm

EKKM Board

more info:

tel: +372 50 84 570


thanks to: Eesti Kultuurkapital, PERI, Sadolin