Estonians proudly go picking mushrooms and visit sacred groves, sacrificial stones and holy springs. How, then, is it possible that we are at the same time steadily destroying our beautiful nature for economic gain? As Aet Annist announced at a demonstration to protect forests in Hirvepark: “We currently act like invaders in our own country (…). We translate habitats into cubic metres, let the trees fall, one after another, and roll their trunks to sawmills and pellet factories.”
Mändfulness (Pine-fulness) was proposed by writer Valdur Mikita as the Estonian equivalent for mindfulness, a technique extracted from Buddhism. Mindfulness refers to an effective method of combating depression and anxiety, but now there are also many scammers offering fake products and fast tracks to mindfulness. Therefore, the term coined by Mikita also has a darker side, not only referring to the Estonians’ love of pine trees, but also to the deceptive greenwashing by the government and companies, in the shadow of which our natural resources are being destroyed.
This group exhibition deals with people’s relationship with the natural environment and is an attempt to raise awareness about the impact of today’s actions on our dream future, using humour and available gestures.
The exhibition is part of Tallinn Art Hall’s ongoing exhibition series which pays special attention to the possibility of being good and ecological responsibility in conditions of certain destruction. The series is an institutional attempt to find an ethically suitable platform for dealing with burning issues, therefore we have excluded all single-use materials from the standard ‘toolkit’ of a contemporary art exhibition, using as few materials as possible – and only things found on site.