Tallinn Photomonth Contemporary Art Biennial opened its fifth edition

Tallinn Photomonth 2019

Jonathas de Andrade, still from the video O Peixe (The Fish), 2016. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Vermelho, Sao Paolo

Tallinn Photomonth 2019
An artist-led biennial of contemporary art and visual culture
September 6–November 3, 2019

Professional Week: September 24–29

Tallinn Photomonth is an artist-led biennial of contemporary art and visual culture. Founded in 2011 by a group of artists working primarily in photography and video, it broadly examines the developments in art and society across all artistic practices, in a world that is mediated by images, cameras, and screens.

Artistic Director Laura Toots says, “for its fifth edition, Tallinn Photomonth will explore themes relating to the current global ecological crisis, and the frailty of the human condition in the aftermath of our society’s haphazard and accelerated attitude toward living.”

The main programme will feature three international group exhibitions, a series of artist film screenings, and an art fair dedicated to showcasing contemporary photographic art. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a programme of public events and an education programme for schools.

The biennial’s Professional Week, which is aimed at visiting international curators, critics, and other art professionals, is between September 24-29. “Taking place for the second time, Professional Week comprises a series of versatile events intended to spark discussion between Estonian and international arts professionals and to develop opportunities for collaboration,” comments the biennial’s Managing Director Kadri Laas-Lepasepp.

Launching with special events on Tuesday, September 24, Professional Week offers the opportunity to visit the biennial’s main exhibitions, attend the opening night of artist film screenings on Wednesday, September 25 and experience Art Fair Foto Tallinn between September 27-29, as well as special tours, screenings and artist talks taking place throughout the week.


When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder
Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM)
Curator: Heidi Ballet
Artists: Angela Anderson and Angela Melitopoulos, Adam Avikainen, Cian Dayrit, Jonathas de Andrade, Bram Demunter, Silje Figenschou Thoresen, James T. Hong, Edith Karlson, Ana Mendieta, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Maarten Vanden Eynde and Musasa, Ana Vaz and Tristan Bera
September 7–October 20, 2019
Opening: September 6, 6pm

The starting point for the exhibition is the question of how psychological reactions to climate chaos are influencing real-life politics. The display proposes an imaginary study of the notions of “owning” and “belonging” in relation to soil.

While recent decades were marked by the drive to disconnect from physical locations, ideas of place and belonging seem to have seen something of a revival, both in a renewed care for the planet but also in increasingly harsh migration policies. The inquiry focuses on how images regarding the units that we belong to—the world, the nation state, the family—have implications for our level of care.

The title is borrowed from the lyrics of the 1985 pop song “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. Months after “We Belong” towered in pop charts in the West, Mikhail Gorbachev announced Perestroika, which made it possible for Estonians to openly protest their belonging to the Soviet Union, and a large ecological movement became the catalyst for Estonian independence. Embedded in local and global research, the exhibition studies the intruding pull of nationalism in relation to ecological concerns.

a visual essay by Simon Dybbroe Møller
Tallinn Art Hall
Curator: Post Brothers
Artists: Thomas Bayrle, Nina Beier, Alexandra Bircken, Georgia Gardner Gray, Edith Karlson, Elke Krystufek, Jochen Lempert, John Miller, Rait Prääts, Heji Shin, Sung Tieu, Sophus Tromholt, Andrew Norman Wilson, and more
September 14–November 17, 2019
Opening: September 13, 6pm

Mercury’s point of departure, an essay of the same title by artist Simon Dybbroe Møller, states that photography as a material process was short-lived. That its “endpoints range from the toxic mercury fumes of the Daguerreotype to the CGI quicksilver of the shape-shifting android assassin T-1000 in the film Terminator 2. Detached from its roots and freed from the baggage of accountability and physicality, photography has itself become mercury-like. Liquid, protean, mutable, and fast flowing.”

An expansion of Dybbroe Møller’s considerations, the exhibition explores how photography has transformed itself from a physical object into a mere reference point. An abstract term that we apply to stuff, a part of the crystalline lens through which we perceive the world. It has become an ecology or, rather, the very terms through which our environment is apprehended and develops. It considers how we look at the world around us, and how we view history and our material world through the lens of technological development. Specifically, how already obsolete or moribund technologies colour our relationship to now.

Dybbroe Møller and Post Brothers will also present Lifeblood Film Club, a series of screenings of moving images concerning the relationship between the camera and the body, including works by Stan Brakhage, Kate Craig, Barbara Hammer, Laure Provost, James Williamson, and more.

Let the field of your attention…. soften and spread out
Kai Art Center
Curator: Hanna Laura Kaljo
Artists: Marie Kølbæk Iversen, Sandra Kosorotova, Pia Lindman, Andrea Magnani, Elin Már Øyen Vister, Carlos Monleon Gendall, Sam Smith, Nele Suisalu
September 21–December 1, 2019
Opening: September 20, 7pm

The exhibition considers the creative arts through an emphasis on receptivity to our bodies and surroundings; noticing one’s body’s native capacity to resonate with other bodies and with the living land. Amid crisis, like that of the collapse of ecosystems caused by human activity, we may gather around stories of recovery.

The practices of the artists featured in the exhibition span visual art, moving meditation, deep listening, writing, textile, and traditional medicinal knowledge. The gradually unfolding curatorial choreography is informed by the seasonal transition towards darkness and dormancy inherent to late autumn and early winter in Estonia. It brings attention to different registers of visibility, as we gather through small private moments and those more public.

The exhibition inaugurates Kai Art Center, a cultural hub launching on Tallinn’s waterfront.

Artists’ film programme: Life After
Sõprus cinema
Curators: Ingel Vaikla and Jesse Cumming
Artists: Sophia Al-Maria, Marwa Arsanios, Kush Badhwar, Ben Balcom, Stephanie Beroes, Sara Cwynar, An van Dienderen, Doplgenger Collective, Beatrice Gibson, Sid Iandovka and Anya Tsyrlina, Sharon Lockhart, Basim Magdy, Marge Monko, Deimantas Narkevičius, Azar Saiyar, Andres Sööt, Taavi Talve
3 screenings on Wednesdays: September 25; October 2; October 16 at 6:30pm

A curated selection of recent and historical moving image works by artists from across the realms of documentary, fiction, experimental film, and video art. A visual exchange between two curators, 19 filmmakers, and multiple stories of alternative histories, parallel realities, and possible futures, it offers glimpses of emergent new world orders positioned against fantasies that have not and may never materialize.

Art Fair Foto Tallinn
Kai Art Center
You can view a list of participating artists, galleries and project spaces here.
September 27–29, 2019

The fair will present work including photographs, video art, and spatial installation by more than 30 artists. The 2019 edition of the fair is part of Kai Art Center’s opening events.

For Tallinn Photomonth’s full programme please visit THIS PAGE

For further information please contact: info@fotokuu.ee
For press accreditation and Professional Week registration please email accreditation@fotokuu.ee.

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