EKKM opens its exhibition season: from Satterwhite to Semper, from Mexico City to Tromsø

For the 18th season of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), the museum will extend the duration of its exhibitions and present three diverse projects instead of the previous four major exhibitions. At a time when global crises have brought about a rise in price levels in almost every area of life, EKKM still aims for the artists’ salaries to correspond to these changes and has therefore decided to cut the number of its exhibitions. This is backed by the desire to continue with an internationally relevant and high-level exhibition programme on all three floors of the museum, as well as a wish to support the artists in the production of new works and museum-specific solutions which has been one of EKKM’s aims for years.

EKKM opens the season on 5 April with the international group exhibition Trigger, which is the first joint project by museum curators Evelyn Raudsepp and Maria Helen Känd. The idea of the exhibition was born as a reaction to the current times – to the situation where we are constantly witnessing the tense chaos of political crises – and subsequently from a need for emotional ventilation through metaphorical and poetic means. Trigger includes video works that have a deeply bodily presence, a site-specific sound installation charged with industrial energy, delicate, yet sharp kinetic sculptures, digital-synthetic paintings, and objects that break with the tradition of fashion and jewellery design. Trigger does not seek to offer relief for an already broken psyche in a dizzyingly fatal age, but invites to connect with the raw, intense and transformative. Participating artists: Adrian Kiss, Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, Cevdet Erek, Darja Popolitova, Hanna Antonsson, Jacolby Satterwhite, (LA)HORDE, Mihkel Maripuu and Oona Doherty.

In the second project of the season Down in the Bog – Sporulation, the Norwegian curator with Estonian roots Karolin Tampere together with artists, musicians and scientists will take a deep dive into the specific ecosystems of the peatlands. The exhibition that will open on 14 June is a chapter from Tampere’s three-part project Down in the Bog – Thinking with Peatlands that is framed around cultural, historical and contemporary changes in relation to peatlands in Northern Norway / Sápmi, Estonia and other selected locations. Along with the artworks on display, one can contemplate on the subject through workshops, concerts and field trips that are also part of the exhibition. These activities build a multisensory experience where sound, touch and smell become central vessels for inspiration and knowledge. Participating artists: Eike Eplik, Ensayos, Fabian Lanzmaier, Geir Tore Holm, Hilde Hauan Johnsen, Kristina Norman, Magnus Skei Holmen, Maria Simmons, Søssa Jørgensen, Piret Pungas-Kohv / Estonian Fund for Nature, Randi Nygård and others.

The season ends with a solo exhibition by Ene-Liis Semper who is better known today as a scenographer and stage director, but who gained international recognition as an installation and video artist in the 1990s and 2000s. Semper’s latest solo exhibition took place at the Kumu Art Museum in 2011. For the exhibition that will open in EKKM on 20 September, Semper builds an environment of new works, mixing different disciplines in a versatile author’s position.

This season, EKKM also launches a new performance and performing arts programme, which on the one hand resonates with the exhibitions, but on the other can also take the form of independent, non-serial art events that pop up according to need. The aim of the programme is to support the ever-increasing interdisciplinary collaborations between authors from the fields of visual and performing arts; as well as to bring together the audiences of these different fields. The programme will be launched on 13 May by Hope Hunt, a dance performance by the Irish choreographer Oona Doherty, as part of the opening exhibition of EKKM’s 2024 season. The performance is organized in cooperation with the Tallinn Creative Hub and will take place at their Cauldron Hall.

In 2024, the visuals for the museum and the exhibitions will be designed by this season’s graphic designer Laura Merendi, while Brigit Arop will start working as the new curator- project manager. Laura De Jaeger will be responsible for the reception of visitors, and Mark Alexander Ummelas will continue as the host of EKKM’s music events.

EKKM’s extended collective in 2024. From top left: Laura Merendi, Anita Kodanik, Heimar Veske, Katariina Kesküla, Johannes Luik, Laura De Jaeger, Jake Shepherd, Brigit Arop, Anete Lomp, Maria Helen Känd. Sitting: Kadi Kesküla, Evelyn Raudsepp, Mark Alexander Ummelas, Martin Kirsiste (absent). Involving an installation piece by Erik Hõim. Photo: Mark Raidpere

EKKM will also continue with its public and educational programmes, which, in addition to the already traditional multilingual exhibition tours, aim to provide a platform that resonates more broadly with contemporary culture through various events, performances, campaigns and workshops.

In the season of 2024, EKKM is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12:00 to 19:00, and the admission is free as always.

In 2024, EKKM is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the City of Tallinn. EKKM is open for donations: Eesti Kaasaegse Kunsti Muuseum MTÜ, EE507700771005906564.