Paul Kuimet’s newest works at the exhibition Late Afternoon at the Tallinn City Gallery present architecture and interiors in reflections, changes of light and rich tones. Essentially, Kuimet is continuing the subject already familiar from his earlier works, which focuses on the viewer’s relationship with real and photographed space, with movement and stillness.
Paul Kuimet works with classic motifs such as interior views, still lifes and architecture. The plots of his pictures and films are extremely simple, and therefore more emphasis is placed on the camera as the intermediary and the photographic transparency or film as the reproducer. Kuimet’s camera seems not to trust the vision based on the supposed naturalness of linear perspective that was developed during the Renaissance. Instead, the naturalness of his way of seeing is hidden in early Postmodernism. The „new wave“ of cinema focused on the irregularity of individual points of view, seeing and storytelling, only instead of film editing, Kuimet utilises the placement of the viewers and the directing of their gazes in the exhibition space. Each photographic work is also a spatial installation, in which the viewer adapts to the pictures and moves in relation to them, sees them together or one at a time based on the dramaturgy established by the artist.
As a photographer whose works often depict architecture and living environments, Paul Kuimet also presents a layer of social meaning in the works exhibited in Late Afternoon. For some time now, the artist has shown interest in modernist architecture – both in it’s utopias as well as the „non-places“ of everyday life – spaces that have a temporary, non-descript and generic character. A view into an office space left empty after the end of the workday, anonymous office furniture and document files, a window frame, and a single potted flower are signs of a certain lifestyle and work routine that is seldom described as being enjoyable. However, along with a strong composition, Kuimet aestheticizes this with an unexpectedly luxurious choice of colours. Connecting modern non-places with modernist utopias is played out in the last work of the exhibition. Perspective Study depicts the Atomium, completed in Brussels in 1958, through reflections on a more anonymous glass facade of a nearby building.
The exhibition has been organised within the framework of the residency exchange programme between the Estonian Union of Photography Artists and Espace Photographique Contretype in Brussels, where it was first exhibited between 13 April to 5 June 2016.
Paul Kuimet (b. 1984) studied photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2009, MA 2014) and at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK). He is the recipient of the Wiiralt Scholarship (2011) and Sadolin Art Prize (2012). His latest exhibitions include: The Baltic Pavilion. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2016); Espace Photographique Contretype (Brussels, 2016); Kohatu. CAME travelling exhibition (2015—16); From Explosion to Expanse (Tartu Art Museum, 2015); Black House. Notes on Architecture (CAME, 2014); Notes on Space. Photos by Paul Kuimet (Kumu Art Museum, 2013). paulkuimet.ee
Exhibition supported by: Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Foku, EIDOTECH Polska, Abakhan Fabrics
The artist thanks: Mikk Heinsoo, Siim Saadoja, Emer Värk, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo, Laura Toots, and Anu Vahtra