How do the advertisements we consume daily affect our behavior and establish certain gender roles? Can self-care become an empowering alternative to consumption? Or another clever advertising strategy that furthers oppression?
The solo exhibition The Best You Can Ever Be by artist Ede Raadik will open on Friday, February 14, at Tallinn Art Hall. In her work, Ede Raadik has employed socially conscious art installations as a tool to engage with the world that we inhabit. From staging a Menopause Club inspired by the species who experience this biological phenomenon and the cultural stigma associated with it to assuming the role of a scientist to analyze women’s medical data, to exploring a quiet workplace drama of female exploitation reflecting the challenges of living in Estonia, Raadik has found dark humor to be a generative and poetic rendering of social constructs.
The exhibition opening will take place on Thursday, February 13, at 18:00. The show will be open until Sunday, March 29.
For this exhibition, Raadik continues the aforementioned line of inquiry by adapting the format of an open space for healing and empowerment to address issues of pain, pleasure, and well-being through the lens of advertisements and self-care products. Living in Tallinn, a city where advertisements and shopping centers are taking over more and more public space, we are constantly bombarded with visual campaigns that exploit even the tiniest of our insecurities. These ads accompany us when we go to school or to work, at lunch break or even at home when we turn the TV on or look out the window. They also have a strong effect on us even though we may not recognize it at first.
In the exhibition space, Ede Raadik plays with the tacit assumption that the advertising media regulating our body and behavior are supposedly objective, when in fact they are often based on gender-biased norms that favor the biology of some over that of others while capitalizing on people’s doubts about their self-image or even on existing traumas. This show suggests that patriarchal models must be revised in favor of a different, more equitable and radically inclusionary future.
We welcome you to experience newly commissioned art installations and traditional advertising short films that touch upon the issues that affect all of us, explored by Raadik with sensitivity and grace. Intersecting the culture of self-care, which is both restorative and heavily commercialized, with the politics of gender construction in the media, we invite you to imagine a different politics of care that presents an alternative to neoliberal capitalism.
The curator of the exhibition is Corina L. Apostol.
Ede Raadik is a feminist conceptual artist. She has exhibited at Hobusepea Gallery, Tartu Art House, Kogo Gallery, Haapsalu City Gallery, and Kraam, among others. Raadik holds an MFA from the Estonian Academy of Arts. She lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia.