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Hold Me Tender

Curator: Siim Preiman

On 7 July at 6 pm, the group exhibition Hold Me Tender will open at Tallinn Art Hall’s Lasnamäe Pavilion. The show deals with relationships, care, social roles and responsibility, language and ethnicity, vulnerability and violence. From Tallinn, the exhibition will move on to our southern neighbours. The exhibition in Tallinn will remain open until 24 September.


The participating artists are Bas Jan Ader, Agnė Jokšė, Morta Jonynaitė, Sandra Kosorotova, Keiu Maasik, Maija Mustonen, Marko Mäetamm, Sarah Nõmm, Hanna Piksarv, Mark Raidpere and Elīna Vītola. The exhibition is curated by Siim Preiman.


“In Estonia, which has taken great strides towards a more equal and free society in the three decades since regaining independence, there are complex issues on the agenda that cause conflicting opinions. Migration, security and livelihoods, the destruction of the natural environment and changing traditions cause fear and resentment. Those residents of Estonia who do not show a desire for integration are distancing themselves from each other, one example of which being the segregation that is increasing at record speed in our capital, compared to the European average,” says Siim Preiman, curator of the exhibition. “Why do we need a pandemic or a war in order for us to recognise that our neighbour is also a human being? How can we find each other sooner? How can we make such care a part of our daily life?”

Preiman adds that he burned himself out dreaming of such a caring utopia, but gradually gathered himself again and became familiar with works of art and artists who, based on their personal experience, shed light on experiences and questions that don’t always get the attention they deserve, or that are even considered taboo. The exhibition which relates to Tallinn Art Hall’s current location in Lasnamäe doesn’t yet provide concrete answers to the questions raised, but these artworks floating in the common value space indicate that the knowledge necessary to understand each other and move forward is within reach. “For some time now, I have been consistently working on exhibitions that, in one way or another, deal with the pain points and bottlenecks of modern society and try to unravel the tangle of eternal global crises a little bit, so that some bright ray of hope can briefly shine through,” he comments.


The audience programme accompanying the exhibition consists of performances, talks and workshops, where issues of care and responsibility are discussed from the perspective of both art and society. Additionally, in the summer the food-themed programme Korr-korr (Borborygmus) will be launched, which will include lectures and joint cooking sessions with creators and thinkers in whose work food has a special place. More information about audience events can be found on the Tallinn Art Hall website.


On the opening weekend, we welcome everyone to take part in Maija Mustonen’s performance Re-treat, where every participant can experience a caring touch. he number of sessions during each performance is limited; therefore, those who are not able to participate will be able to watch them as audience members. During the exhibition, performances will take place on the following dates: 7 and 8 July, 18 and 19 August, and 23 and 24 September.


Hold Me Tender is part of Tallinn Art Hall’s ongoing exhibition series, which pays special attention both to the possibility of being good and to ecological responsibility in conditions of certain destruction. The series is an institutional attempt to find an ethically suitable platform for dealing with burning issues. Therefore, we have excluded all single-use materials from the standard “toolkit” of a contemporary art exhibition, using as few materials as possible – and only things found on site.