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Edgar Tedresaar and Sten Saarits. Black Gold

Curator: Siim Preiman

Starting from 21 December, the exhibition by Edgar Tedresaar and Sten Saarits, “Black Gold” will be open at Tallinn City Gallery. With paintings, video and sound, the exhibition seeks to give an idea of the amount of land occupied by the fossil fuel industry. The exhibition is curated by Siim Preiman.


Although people have known how to drill for oil and use it to prepare kerosene for thousands of years, large-scale exploitation of this mineral resource only began in the mid-19th century when scientific advances led to the development of petrol, diesel, plastics and fertilisers. “Black Gold” deals precisely with this dark matter that has now become our chief energy resource. It flows inside everything that surrounds us, either as fuel or in more indirect ways, as energy used in the production of our devices, the transportation of our clothes and food, the construction of our houses, vehicles and infrastructure. The scar tissue from black gold covering the globe is constantly expanding.


It is the topic of landscape and land use that bring together Edgar Tedresaar and Sten Saarits. Both artists have, in one way or another, worked with conceptualising and building on landscape experience. In “Black Gold”, Tedresaar’s lo-fi and Saarits’ hi-fi are combined in a new hybrid monochrome visual language, which the artists use to search for something new in this all-encompassing dark and viscous fluid. Tedresaar shapes canvases to match the landforms of Greenland, Alaska, and other oil-rich areas. Saarits combines satellite photographs with sound and animation to try to give an indication of the amount of land occupied by black gold.

Edgar Tedresaar (1984) is a painter whose work focuses on the upcycling of materials. His large-scale abstract paintings are made from canvas scraps tinted with natural pigments. His most recent solo exhibitions were “Journey to Freedom” at Tartu Art House (2016) and “Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar” at Tartu Art Museum (2014).


Sten Saarits (1987) is a sound and installation artist who is interested in the individual’s relationship with their surrounding objects and their position in the chain of events. His recent solo exhibitions include “Zero G Tonic” (with Kristel Saan) at Hobusepea Gallery (2018), “Stuff” at Hobusepea Gallery (2015) and “My Eyes Are Going Crazy, I Am Trying to See Something but There’s Nothing Here” (with Erika Stöckel) at Haapsalu City Gallery (2014).


The 2019 exhibition programme at Tallinn Art Hall directs special attention towards the possibility of being good and ecologically responsible in the circumstances of certain ruin. Five exhibitions congregate around this set of themes of which this one is the last. Previous exhibitions in the series were the group exhibition “The Art of Being Good” in the main hall of Tallinn Art Hall and solo exhibitions by Taavi Suisalu, Britta Benno and Jane Remm in the galleries. The curator of the series is Siim Preiman.