The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) will continue its public activities in 2020.
The negotiations with the city of Tallinn and FDN Tallinn Creative Hub – the owners of our Põhja pst. 35 exhibition venue – have provided a solution to our problematic situation and we have come to an initial agreement concerning EKKM’s future activities in the building. As a result, our current aim is to open the venue’s 2020 exhibition season as previously scheduled – on 17 April with the duo-exhibition Hier Nicht (tr. not here) by Jevgeni Zolotko and Uwe Schloen.
In order to open our season, all shortcomings indicated by the audit will have to be eliminated and general safety has to be guaranteed inside the venue. These requirements are the basis of an impending temporary lease agreement, and meeting them is the precondition for a new two-year lease, during which we also undertake to finalise the renovation plan and source funding for it. Only then can we start setting long-term objectives for the venue.
At present, we have begun with initial work on the building’s main deficiencies and started specifying further tasks. Meanwhile, we will also continue outlining the renovation plan as well as working with and preparing for the first exhibitions of the 2020 season. Although the official start of our season is scheduled for April, our first exhibition of the year opens already on 7 February in Brussels, in collaboration with Beursschouwburg. More information about Ingel Vaikla’s solo exhibition Shapes and Distances, curated by Laura Toots, can be found here.
We are filled with gratitude towards all the people and institutions who have encouraged and supported us. We would also like to thank the Ministry of Culture, the city of Tallinn and FDN Tallinn Creative Hub for the prompt and constructive discussions. EKKM will not disappear, is yet to be repaired, but will continue.
The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) will halt its activities on November 30 and finish its 2019 exhibition season earlier than scheduled.
We have decided to temporarily halt our public activities and end our 2019 exhibition season prematurely on the 30th of November, as in view of the building audit commissioned by the owners of our Põhja pst. 35 exhibition venue – FDN Tallinn Creative Hub and the city of Tallinn – the Creative Hub has decided to abruptly terminate our lease agreement. Even though the observation-based audit finds the structural state of our venue, albeit in disrepair, to be satisfactory or even good, some details of the building have still been deemed dangerous, which are also the alleged grounds for the termination of our lease by the Creative Hub.
In spite of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) not being the owner of the Põhja pst. 35 building, we have managed, in the course of more than 13 years of activities, with an insufficient budget and immense motivation, to undeniably maintain and improve the state of the building and the exhibition spaces. The issues brought forth by the audit come as no surprise to us, as we are well aware of the general conditions our venue is in. Still, it remains unclear how the issues stated in the audit could be employed as grounds for the termination of the lease. We have already begun to work towards finding solutions to these issues and have started to negotiate for a new lease agreement in order to be able to re-open to the general public by the beginning of the next exhibition season at the latest.
Our mission is the same as it has always been – to continue our outstanding and internationally acknowledged work with contemporary art and to keep this section of the city’s waterfront as cultural and non-commercial public space. Considering the outcome of the heated discussions around the detailed planning of the area of EKKM and the Creative Hub back in 2014, it is undoubtedly in the interest of the public that the area remains as land set aside for public and not-for-profit use.
We are grateful to our audience, to our collaborators and to our supporters for their understanding, because not only will the recently opened exhibition A-tishoo, A-tishoo, We All Fall Down, collectively curated by the Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia (CCA), be prematurely shut down, but also EKKM’s Café and Lugemik’s bookshop will have to close their doors.
We do hope that what is happening is neither the beginning of EKKM’s disappearance nor an appearance of general disbelief in critical and experimental culture. We will be sure to keep you up to date with all further developments, while counting on your support!