A crisis centre for suffering artists and their works to be launched at Tallinn Biennial

  • 2020-06-27
  • Egle Loor

On 2 July, the first day of Tallinn Biennial, a tragi-comic project by two young Latvian artists, Ieva Kraule-Kūna and Elīna Vītola, titled “Artist Crisis Centre” will open at the ARS Art Factory Project Space in Tallinn, Estonia. The centre offers a refuge for neglected, unsuccessful artworks that need care and attention.

The artist’s crisis centre will provide all creative souls afflicted by the cruel hand of fate or those not blessed with talent. The centre has a shelter for artists and a soup kitchen, and sufferers will be immersed in a calm atmosphere, which will bring solace to their anxious senses and fatigued souls.

“Soft voices direct visitors through the gentle interior of the crisis centre and guide them on how to use the healing equipment, as well as how to cope through difficult times,” explain the artists about the experience awaiting you at the project space. “The difficulty that accompanies placing your uncomfortable body into the midst of a grand art event is avoided via comfortable seating and dim lighting that conceals the shamed artists and shortfalls in their artworks, as well as the defects in the faces of the viewers.”

Ieva Kraule-Kūna (1987) studied at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and mostly makes sculptural objects, adding short stories to the various materials, where the absurd adventures of fictional characters become mixed up with distorted interpretations of historical events. Her most important group and solo exhibitions include “The person you are trying to reach is not available” at J. Hester Gallery in New York, “What can I do?” at Shanaynay Gallery in Paris, “Nobody dances like that anymore” at Gallery 427 in Riga, “... if all you told was turned to gold” Vita Kuben Gallery in Umeå, and “11 out of 10” at kim? Contemporary Art Center in Riga.

Elīna Vītola (1986) studied painting at the Latvian Art Academy and the Janis Rozentals Art High School in Riga, Latvia. She is interested in art and preserved fruit, and this is a key phrase for unlocking her work. Group exhibitions in Estonia that she has taken part in include “Children of the New East" at Tallinn Art Hall, and “Time to Dream or Fear” and "Viewing and Reading Room" at Kogo Gallery in Tartu. Her latest solo exhibition “Common Issues in Painting and Everyday Life: Crappstraction” has been shown at Kogo Gallery and various locations in Riga. In 2018, she was awarded the Grand Prix at the Nordic and Baltic Young Artist Award.

“Artist Crisis Centre” will be open in ARS Art Factory Project Space (154 Pärnu mnt, Tallinn) for a week until 9 July. Entry is free.

Tallinn Biennial, taking place for the first time, is a large-scale summer art event held in the capital and surroundings involving a wide variety of events – exhibition openings, exclusive gallery tours, meetings with artists, and much more. It showcases the work of artists from Estonia and neighbouring countries through 2–30 July. The biennial is organised by the Nordic Baltic Art Center NOBA MTÜ and supported by NOAR.eu, Solaris and Ülemiste City.