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Tell Me. Contemporary Portraits in Photography

On 13 October at 5 pm group exhibition Tell Me. Contemporary Portraits in Photography curated by Anneli Porri (Tallinna Art Hall) will open in Narva Art Gallery and remains open until 1 December.


The exhibition Tell Me. Contemporary Portraits in Photography is co-produced by Tallinn Photomonth biennial and Tallinn Art Hall and presents the following artists: Herkki Erich Merila, Marge Monko, Tanja Muravskaja, Alissa Nirgi, Birgit Püve, Mark Raidpere, Peeter Tooming and Sigrid Viir.


The detailed documentation of personal idiosyncrasies has been the main objective of photography from the start, and a well-conceptualised shot may be of great social impact, be able to create or maintain both power and romantic relations, and help to remember and recollect people from the whole social range.

“When deciding on the artworks for this exhibition, I considered how the portrait performs the subject’s identity. In the hands of artists self-image is never direct nor final – prisoners and politicians, among others, are presented with another psychological imagery. Artists often use portraiture as a means to analyse the relatsionships between themselves and their close relatives,” says the curator Anneli Porri.


The exhibition title has been borrowed from Marge Monko’s series pointing to a photograph as a psychoanalytical tool. A good photographic portrait should show us something we are unaware of, it should surprise us, even astound the subject – as it brings forth something new and not yet experienced.


Tell Me presents works where the artist is not a mere technician but someone who uses photography to analyse the human subject in depth. What happens to the model between changing poses for the camera? Who is the family, group of friends or guests standing across the room? Are we able to learn more about each other with the help of this photograph?


The exhibition at Narva Art Gallery is a mental continuation of Where You End, I Begin, an exhibition of photographic space at Tartu Art House (2013), and From Explosion to Expanse – Estonian Contemporary Photography 1991–2015, an outline of the history of photographic art in Estonia at Tartu Art Museum (2015), both curated by Anneli Porri for Tallinn Photomonth biennial.


Supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Union of Photography Artists, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, NOAR, Digifoto.


Thank you: Art Museum of Estonia, Museum of Photography, Tartmus.


We would like to thank the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Tallinn Office of Culture, Veinisõber, Kuu Stuudio, Sadolin, Estonian Union of Photography Artists, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Centre, Tallinn Photomonth.


A special bus is leaving for the opening from Tallinn city centre at 2 pm on Friday, 13 October. Return trip costs 5€. Registration via:


Narva Art Gallery
Vestervalli 21, Narva, Estonia
Open: Mon–Sun 10am–6pm