How to speak without words? How to remember without recalling? Maria Valdma’s solo exhibition Memory Palace will be open in Tallinn City Gallery from 22 January, showcasing the artist’s latest jewellery made of porcelain, burnt and bleached wood, gold and silver. The curator of the exhibition is Siim Preiman.
NB! Due to the continued spread of the coronavirus in Estonia, the usual festive opening of the exhibition will not take place. The doors of the City Gallery will open to visitors on Friday, 22 January at 11 am. The exhibition will remain open until 28 March.
Unlike fine art, jewellery does not have the luxury of being site-specific. Rather, it must relate to all sorts of garments, personalities and interiors. Yet, jewellery artists are still artists, and their sources of inspiration, subject matter and work process are often deeply personal. It is precisely this contradiction between personal and general that characterises Valdma’s jewellery: the desire to remember and hold close, forget and let go at the same time.
“There is always a certain contradiction in displaying jewellery in an exhibition space. Particularly because it does not belong to a wall or showcase, but is instead intended to be worn. Therefore, it is common for us to see specially designed exhibition spaces for the presentation of an artist’s new collection. After all, the exhibition hall is a special space designated for special pieces at best. In the case of artist jewellery, it assumes the role of first wearer or serves as replacement for a body,” says Siim Preiman, curator of the exhibition.
This exhibition, as the first wearer of Maria Valdma’s new jewellery, is named after a method of memory enhancement which consists of placing objects in a familiar imaginary location in your mind. This ancient technique is very effective and widely used. Of course, each memory palace is completely personal, which also makes this term perfectly suited as the title of Valdma’s exhibition. Entering the City Gallery, we will have a unique opportunity to explore the author’s palace, where she has carefully shaped and placed each object.
The sound design of the exhibition has been created by Helena Tulve.
Maria Valdma is a jewellery artist whose work is based on a poetic approach to space and objects. She was a member of the F.F.F.F. artist group, active in 1996–2005, and graduated from the metal art department (MA) at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Valdma’s works can be found in the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia and the Museum of Applied Art and Design, as well as in private collections in Finland, the United States, Lithuania, Germany and Estonia. Her recent solo exhibitions include Passage in A-Gallery (2014) and Off in Draakon Gallery (2016).