Every Day One Flag. Installation (custom-made software, digital print on paper, 3D printed parts, wood). 2016
Photo: Varvara & Mar.
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Varvara & Mar. Chameleon

The exhibition “Chameleon” by the artist duo Varvara & Mar will be open at Tallinn City Gallery from 30 November. Using the language of interactive installations, the exhibition explores the complex identity crisis in the globalised cosmopolitan world. Who are the superpowers of our society? What meaning does a national flag have today and how does nationalism fit into the globalised society?

 

An increasing number of people these days are left without a place-based sense of belonging. As artists from minority backgrounds, Varvara & Mar too have difficulties identifying themselves through a single nationality or country. Besides broader tendencies, the installations presented at the exhibition also reflect the complex identity issues the artists themselves experience.

 

Who are the superpowers of our society? What meaning does a national flag have today and how does nationalism fit into the globalised society? Varvara & Mar use a wide range of materials to answer these questions. The exhibition includes light, kinetics, interactivity readymade and textiles. The central image of “Chameleon” is a flag, making reference to the flags waving in the media and the public space, which are used to either support or negate countries, nations or interest groups, or which are applied to the service of some good or service.

 

Pau Waelder writes in his essay published in the exhibition booklet: “In international airports, places of movement from one country to another, there are no flags that point to different destinations: the idea that prevails is that of a movement without borders, between cities that are nodes open to a global network. National identity is usually found in the souvenir shop, where the flag is a mark that integrates the design of hundreds of different products.”

The exhibition has previously been displayed at the Rambleta art centre, Valencia in 2016 and the Abello Museum in Mollet del Vallès in 2017. Originally produced with an art production and research grant from Rambleta in 2016. Expanded with the support of Abello Museum in 2017.

 

Varvara & Mar is an artist duo formed by Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet in 2009. Inspired by the social changes in the digital era, their work features art, design and technological experiments. The artists also assign importance to cooperation with numerous participants and a dialogue between artists and the audience. Since 2015, they have organised public workshops and lectures in their studio in the ARS building in Tallinn. Varvara & Mar have displayed their works in New York, Liverpool, Barcelona, London, Athens, Linz and elsewhere.