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Liina Siib. Politics of Paradise

Curator Taru Elfving

The solo exhibition Politics of Paradise by artist Liina Siib will be open from 16 February at Tallinn Art Hall. Her work pays acute attention to the minor narratives, which are usually overshadowed by the attention economy or accelerated lived experiences. Bringing together new and earlier works, the exhibition mediates intergenerational conversations between individual lives and complex gendered histories of privilege and power.
The curator of the exhibition is Taru Elfving.


Recently, Siib has looked at the ongoing regional economic migration through the eyes of Estonian women working in Finland. This contemporary polyphony of personal stories, desires and realities is reflected in the new installation Urban Symphony in E-minor III. The video and installation Augusta or Politics of Paradise focuses on the tragic fate of one woman in the local historical context. Both pieces continue Siib’s lengthy artistic investigations into the entangled political and habitual claims to space, voice and meaning.


“With her attentive photographer’s gaze combined with playful storytelling, Siib produces witty and seductive yet sharp counter narratives, which encourage us to recognise our own prejudices as well as the dreams mirrored in them, albeit slightly askew. Her works produced during the past three decades also reveal how the different presentation of recurring problems becomes a valuable capital. Shifts in artistic approaches, methods and materials resonate with changes in society and visual culture that does not follow the ideal of linear progress but rather loops and leaps about,” says Taru Elfving, describing Siib’s work.

In addition to new works, many earlier pieces are also exhibited at the exhibition. For instance, she has restored her installation Alienus, which was exhibited at Biotopia, the third annual exhibition of the Soros Center of Contemporary Arts, Estonia at Tallinn Art Hall in 1995. Also exhibited are a selection of photographs from the series A Woman Takes Little Space, with which Liina Siib represented Estonia at the Venice Biennial in 2011.


Liina Siib is known for her photography, video and installation works based on extensive research, archive material, interviews and collaborations. Recent exhibitions include Riga Biennial 2018 and Galleria Sinne, Helsinki.


Taru Elfving is a curator and writer based in Helsinki. Her practice focuses on nurturing site-sensitive and transdisciplinary artistic practices at the intersections of feminist and ecological enquiries. Her curatorial projects include Hours, Years, Aeons (Finnish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015), Frontiers in Retreat (HIAP 2013–2018), Contemporary Art Archipelago CAA (Turku 2011, European Capital of Culture), and Towards a Future Present (Lofoten International Art Festival 2008).


The exhibition is part of Estonia 100 art programme and is the last art exhibition to open during Estonia’s centenary celebrations.


We would like to thank: Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Artists’ Association, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Academy of Arts, AkzoNobel, Veinisõber, EV100 art programme, Estonian National Archive Film Archive, Võru County Museum, Galleria Sinne Helsinki, Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia, OÜ Argonfeld, MTÜ Lemme, KUMA Kombucha.