Jüri Ojaver. Men’s Shop
Jüri Ojaver’s solo exhibition Men’s Shop will be open from 9 June at Tallinn City Gallery. Using other men’s words the artist addresses men’s health, life quality, mortality rates and cultural and memory traces left behind.
The exhibition will be opened on 9 June and remains open until 06.08.
At the beginning of the 1980s, a unique shop was opened in the rooms that now house Tallinn City Gallery, which exclusively sold men’s clothes. As a young artist, Ojaver designed the interior of the shop. In 2017, he is back in the same space, bringing Men’s Shop back at a metaphorical level – the works are connected to the life of men either as quotes or through men’s clothing.
“They sold everything in that men’s shop except for suits: socks, underwear, shirts, ties and so on,” says Ojaver remembering the former store on Harju Street. “Ties are peculiarly vain garments. Not every man wears them, but in some professions, a tie is a must. It’s like the symbol of a traditional hard-working man.” Ojaver has also collected quotes from 46 friends. On the one hand, they give the artist information about the person concerned, on the other, they reflect the general mentality of men.
Painter Mihkel Ilus has described Ojaver’s work as optimistic, regardless of its dark humour and absurdity. “I find it interesting to observe how personal occurrences become art in Jüri’s work. The subjects are difficult, but they are thoroughly worked through and presented in the artist’s individual language which manages to touch viewers’ hearts instead of burdening them with worry.”
Jüri Ojaver (born 1955) is mainly known as a sculptor, although he has also displayed videos and paintings and carried out several performances over the years. In 1999, Ojaver represented Estonia at the Venice Biennale with Peeter Pere and Ando Keskküla. His last solo exhibition, Dying Dog Vol. 2, took place at the beginning of 2017 at Vabaduse Gallery.