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Runner Along the Border, Rat Catcher and Bricklayer

Curator: Gregor Taul

The departure point for this exhibition is short stories by Peet Vallak, Mehis Heinsaar and Ilmar Külvet. In Vallak’s piece, Happiness of Siim the Basketmaker (1938), the road of a basketmaker crosses with that of a man who runs along the country border; in Heinsaar’s Toomas and the Rat Catchers (2007, published in his collection of short stories, Happiness of a Wanderer), a village community in South Estonia is rescued from a plague of rats by mysterious rat catchers from Latvia. The short story Bricklayer (1989) by the exile Estonian author Külvet is about a retired Estonian craftsman living in Toronto, who gets into trouble while visiting his compatriot who is involved in the hotel business on a small Mexican island.

 

Although there are elements of magical realism in all the stories, they still focus on ordinary people with their ordinary needs and whims. Setting boundaries plays a significant role in ensuring the integrity of both the individual and the community. At the exhibition, this is amplified by an archetypal bricklayer: a craftsman who innocently, or maybe spitefully, builds barriers between people. The exhibition Runner Along the Border, Rat Catcher and Bricklayer brings together Baltic artists of different generations whose work is characterised by dealing with border and identity issues. Participating in the exhibition are Amie Nga an Chan, Eike Eplik, Kristaps Epners, Hanna Samoson and Augustas Serapinas.