The focus of the research shifted from the lack of audience over 50 years old to artists in Tallinn from older and younger generation. And this would finally be the axis of the following days – to find, meet and interview these artists.
Tuesday to Friday the first meetings were set. We met four young artists between 26 and 28 years old: Kertu Moppel - an actress, author and theatre director, Johannes Veski – a theatre director and member from Cabaret Rhizome, Henri Hütt - dancer/performance artist and Evi Pärn - performance and video artist. These young artists sounded very high motivated and very strongly committed to their work. It was very inspiring listening to them.
The curator and art critic Anders Harm – founder of the EKKM (contemporary museum of art in Tallinn) “drew” connecting lines between the three generation artists from 80s till now, although he underlined as well the discontinuity due to the Russian occupation and the rapid adjustment of contemporary art after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In his overview of the 80s and 90s he pointed out the importance of Jaan Toomik and Raul Kurvitz.
There was an attempt to meet Jaan Toomik, one of the most important older generation painter and video artist. The night before we met him we watched some of his video art. His videos are accessible on Youtube. Unfortunately he kindly refused to talk to us about his work or himself.
Here is a comment about him: “What was of political importance in the art of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Estonia? If I am to address a case where personal history, transitional politics and creative ambition have come together, I can think of no better example than a set of works by Jaan Toomik.”
Priit Raud, the director of Kanuti Gildi Saal, confirmed this distance that older generation artists keep.
On the contrary, Raul Kurvitz, also an important older generation artist, very elaborately spoke about his work and his personal history, contributing in our view over the contemporary art scene from 90s till the present time. He would finally be the only one among the older generation artists, participating in the final presentation OUTSIDE THE BOX: SHOW ME YOURS I SHOW YOU MINE on Thursday the 6th of March at Kanuti Gildi Saal.
90s landscape became more clear after talking to Ene-Liis Semper - video artist, theatre director and founder of the NO99 theatre in Tallinn.
The last artist from the older generation we met was Leonhard Lapin, born in 1947; he was active as an architect, painter and poet, being a part of the avant-garde landscape of the 60s. We visited him in his small atelier. He was very willing to talk to us in his broken German.
There was a lot of visual material concerning the old generation artist, we were very kindly provided by Kumu, the Art Museum of Estonia.