Composer to curate an exhibition for the first time at EKKM

The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) has chosen the surprise curator’s exhibition format for its second project of the 2023 season, entrusting the curation of an exhibition with an artist who does not work in the field of contemporary visual arts on a daily basis. In the second experiment with the surprise curator in the museum’s history, the composer Helena Tulve has been invited to curate the exhibition.

 Tulve would like the exhibition sanctuary – shelter to offer visitors a tranquil yet inspiring experiential refuge, leading them to new sensory-based understandings of human coexistence with the nature and with oneself.

“In the fragility of situations, in the depth of ignorance, in the incessant change, we have an inner longing for a return to the place from which we have come and to which we will one day return. In the meantime, we look for a temporary place, a nest, a refuge, a space of immediate being and awareness, where we feel supported in spite of everything. What places, experiences, images, sounds help us keep our sense of life, adapt to the unknown, accept the inevitable, wonder, feel, and be receptive?,” says Helena Tulve, summarising the essence of the exhibition.

The participating artists create moments with their artwork that allow us to rethink the familiar experience of objects and spaces. A journey grows out of the interconnection between the works, in which different materials of artistic creation such as textiles, paper, wood, sound, light, shadow begin to interact. In these situations, sometimes dislocated or amplified by sound, there is the possibility of noticing new connections with oneself, with the environment and with what is situated there. The featured artists are Anne RudanovskiFélix BlumeJohn GrzinichLaura Põld, and Zimoun.

Helena Tulve is an Estonian composer whose music focuses on incessant change and related processes. For her, creation is always an encounter with the unknown. Tulve is professor of composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and artistic director of the Estonian Music Days. She is also part of the Estonian Composers’ Ensemble EHA, which focuses on sound objects and listening as a central means of human communication. Tulve’s most important works in recent years include the opera Wölfe at the Mecklenburg State Theatre and the sacred representation Visiones, which premiered at the Venice Biennale 2022. Her music has been recorded under numerous labels, including three author’s albums Sula (ER, 2005), Lijnen (ECM, 2008) and Arboles lloran por lluvia (ECM, 2014).

The opening of the exhibition will take place at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (Kursi 5) on 16 June at 6 pm. Composers Maria Kõrvits and Tatyana Kozlova-Johannes will join with Helena Tulve for a sound-based curator’s tour. The night will be continued with the music played by Eliann Tulve-OjaveeNathan Tulve, and Jakob Tulve.

sanctuary – shelter will remain open until August 6th, 2023.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Ministry of Culture of Estonia, and the French Institute in Estonia. Special thanks to the Tallinn Waste Centre.