Light in the darkness

  • 2012-08-22
  • By TBT Staff

TALLINN - The group exhibition “The Speed of Darkness,” which was on the display in Turku, Finland last year, is now showing in Tallinn, albeit with some new additions, which is why the title has been expanded to include “Other Stories.” But there is just one story here – the powerful metaphor of “darkness.” Of course, the “speed of darkness” doesn’t exist, because in physics, darkness is just the absence of light. Complete darkness doesn’t evolve; it doesn’t move; it isn’t measurable; it just is.

The exhibition contains works by Finnish, Latvian and Estonian artists, and interestingly enough, most of them come from the generation born in the 1970s and ’80s.
Jaakko Niemela is the curator and author of the concept for “Speed of Darkness,” an exhibition that closed in Finland in May and has now arrived in Estonia. This is supplemented by Other Stories, an exhibition that interprets the same subject, which was initiated by Eha Komissarov.

“The selected art projects deal with the creation of the material base of darkness and search for a means to allow darkness to be transformed into material for an installation, by activating darkness,” Eha Komissarov, one of the curators of the exhibition, said. “Darkness becomes functional when we decipher it as a separate phenomena, between which the artists create significant connections and points of contact, by using metaphysical opportunities and experiences from everyday life.”

According to Komissarov, the impetus to initiate a simultaneous project came from the sensitive expression “speed of darkness,” which was employed by Niemela, and which generated the idea of searching for new points of departure for the interpretation of darkness in the Estonian language and art space.

The unusual combination of the words “speed” and “darkness” attributes to darkness traits that describe the distribution of light, and directs artists with various backgrounds and practices to create new cultural texts. All the artists invited to participate in the exhibition saw the promising possibilities for a better comprehension of the nature of darkness in the semantic contradiction of the speed of darkness.

In 2011 a workshop took place under the direction of the Finnish lighting artist Niemela, with the participation of young artists from Estonia, Latvia and Finland. “The Speed of Darkness” exhibition was a continuation of this training period.
In the project, Estonia is represented by Timo Toots and Karel Koplimets, Latvia by Kate Krolle and Katrina Sauskina, and Finland by Anna Hyrkkanen and Paula Lehtonen.

“The Other Stories” exhibition includes works by Kristi Kongi, Jevgeni Zolotko, Ivar Veermae, Liina Siib, the Finnish artists’ group “IC-98,” comprised of Patrik Soderlund and Visa Suonpaa, Kristiina Hansen & Johannes Sare, and Neeme Kulm, in cooperation with Ulo Krigul, Liisi Eesmaa, Anu Vahtra and Kart Ojavee.

“Speed of Darkness and Other Stories” will be open at the Kumu Art Museum until Sept. 20. More information can be found at: