Based on almost tangible visuality, this exhibition tries to escape verbally constructed contexts. The meaning and symbolism of works on display is deeply rooted in emotional memory. They stubbornly resist all ideological connotations and the moving sands of changing interpretations, building on deep-rooted knowledge about the basic truths of human condition. Childhood memories, feelings of fear, faith and doubt, longing for wholeness and sanity are lived by everyone even if they reside in the background or in the grey areas of pragmatic, philosophical or political thought. Often, the only place where these messages from deep inside can be expressed and where perceived weakness becomes strength, is art. As simple minded as it may sound this exhibition is dedicated to art that hurts and heals and to the artists who give shape and let us see.
May You be Loved and Protected is the working title for an exhibition about art, art as the friend and agent of your condition, an inseparable companion in the world. And about artists through whose work this becomes possible, artists who believe and know that there are things that can be learned and healed better through art than through life.
The four rooms of the Tallinn Art Hall will be used to showcase the work of local and Western European artists. The three Estonian artists – Dénes Farkas, Tõnis Saadoja and Jevgeni Zolotko symbolically represent a cross-section of the Estonian art scene that combine life and art experience of equal existential strength. The other artists in the show will represent the European cultural space. Their work will be borrowed from museums as well as private collections. So the exhibition will hopefully also show the earlier work of Marlene Dumas (1953), Mark Manders (1968), Thierry De Cordier (1954), Jean Rustin (1928–2013) a/o, together with works from the Prinzhorn collection and photographs of these taken by Dénes Farkas.
Dénes Kalev Farkas (1974), graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in printmaking (2001, BA) and photography (2003, MA). He is one of our important photography and installation artists who has exhibited since 1998 in numerous solo and group shows. He represented Estonia at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013, curator Adam Budak).
Tõnis Saadoja (1980) graduated with a BA in painting from the Estonian Academy of Arts (2004, BA) and a Master of Fine Arts from East London University (2006). He is an important artist of one of the oldest forms of visual art – painting – in modern-day Estonia and has revitalised the practice of large scale painting in public spaces (NO99 Theatre ceiling painting 2012), and has been awarded the Konrad Mägi prize (2015), the Kristjan Raud medal and award (2013) and the Köler Prize people’s choice award (2011).
Jevgeni Zolotko (1983) graduated from the sculpture department of Tartu Art College (2008, BA). He is a sculptor and installation artist, the first Köler Prize winner (2011) and one of seven artists who represented Estonia at the first Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art RIBOCA (2018). He keeps alive the depth and breadth of the Slavic spirit on our art scene.