25 November 2013

Nuart video

Nuart 2013
Street art festival

Now the Nuart-film is published, showing a charming taste of the experiences during this year's street art festival. You might find some familiar art and people in there.

NUART 2013. SHOWTIME from NUART on Vimeo.

Stavanger Croquis

Croquis exhibition
Stavanger Croquis group
Bekkefaret bydelshus, Stavanger

Croquis is about drawing sketches of a model who changes poses in intervals of 0,5 to 10 minutes. And sometimes the model keeps the pose for the whole evening. These are the drawings, paintings and prints of the Stavanger Croquis group through weekly drawing sessions.

Stavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger Croquis
Stavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger Croquis
Stavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger Croquis
Stavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger CroquisStavanger Croquis

23 November 2013

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Changing, it rests
Kristiina Hansen
Draakoni galerii, Tallinn
Photos, miniature installations

Nothing is as it seems at first glance, it is all out of proportions, upside down, or just impossible. Kristiina Hansen makes this happen through photo and installations. Small becomes large or large becomes small, the portraits are upside down, hidden or absurd. And the tools for sorting it all out, through rules (of nature or of chess, represented by a chess token and bird feathers), measuring (represented by the angle ruler) all fall short of the gold-on-the-hook installation. We strive to understand, but just end up as more confused. Small bits of gold fall to the floor, and we will never be able to repair it as it was. We are in a game of chess that we are bound to lose. Or win.

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests
In the right side installation a piece of gold leaf is hanging on a fish hook. A fan is blowing up from the base, making the gold tremble constantly, and even som bits have fallen to the floor.

Kristiina Hansen: Changing, it rests

Kirke Kangro: Almost

Kirke Kangro
Hobusepea galerii
Moving installations

Wonderful surprises and great games with possibilities and opposites in this exhibition by Kirke Kangro. 

Kirke Kangro: That's where the light gets in
That's where the light gets in

Two pendulums are constantly waving towards and away from each other. One pendulum has a light bulb and the other a camera. The output of the camera is shown on a screen nearby. The light almost crashes into the camera every time, both as you see it yourself and on the screen. A tiny adjustment, and they would crash. If you try to get into the view of the camera, you risk being hit too.

Kirke Kangro: That's where the light gets in
That's where the light gets in

Kirke Kangro: Scream

A cloudlike installation hanging in the air is constantly trembling by waves emitted from a speaker in the ceiling.

Kirke Kangro: Almost

A structure identical to the pillar holding up the first floor, is standing free on the floor with no support task. Actually the pillar is supported by a simple, wooden pole, that avoids the pillar from falling.

22 November 2013

Ulvi Haagensen: Aagh! Õehh!

Aagh! Õehh!
Ulvi Haagensen
Hop Galerii, Tallinn
Installation, live drawing

This quite unusual exhibition consists of white clothes hung to dry, and wall drawings expanding every day. The artist herself is present in the exhibition almost every day drawing live. What she draws are the clothes. If the title points to how boring and exhausting laundry is, she is taking it to the maximum by also drawing it. And if you happen to brush against the wall you will need to wash your clothes too. Then you also may draw it as it dries. Watching paint dry is not usually the most inspiring activity, but Haagensen makes drying laundry inspiring.

Ulvi Haagensen: Aagh! Õehh!

Ulvi Haagensen: Aagh! Õehh!

Streetart in Tallinn

November 2013

These are my few new finds of streetart in Tallinn this autumn.

On a wall of an empty factory building of the Vineeri quartal I found this paste-up gallery:

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn

Streetart in Tallinn
Knit art

Streetart in Tallinn
The four-legged princess by MinajaLydia

21 November 2013

Pöff 2013

Black Nights' Film Festival
November 2013

This is my subjective ranking of films seen at the Black Nights' Film Festival (PÖFF) in Tallinn this year: 

Ilmar Raag

The mailwoman is considered to be rather simple by the village people. But when she sends a postcard with a poem to the village alcoholic/womanizer both their lives change. And we see them in a different light. The movie's play with the story seen from different views makes us regret our prejudices and be prepared to give people another chance. This is a very realistic story from a tiny village at Saaremaa, but could just as well be from any other Nordic village.

This movie by Ilmar Raag follows his last success movie "A lady in Paris", one of the highlights of last year's Pöff. A director of international level, one to look out for also in the future.


Estonia, Georgia
Zaza Urushadze

War broke out in Abkhazia in 1992, and it is difficult to understand who fights against who. This is one of the areas Estonians settled in more than hundred years ago, and then most escaped before the war. But some remained until today, and this story could be about one of them. When the old Estonian discovers seriously hurt soldiers from both sides in his backyard, he decides to take care of them both. Will it really be possible to make these two enemies able to live under the same roof? And will it be possible not to be affected by the war going on? The story is well told, but the background of the conflict is difficult to grasp. It really does not mind, as this is a universal story about enemies and friendship.


Alexander Payne

An old, rather disturbed, old man recieves a letter saying "you may have won 1 million dollars", and decides to travel all the 1500km to claim his price. Giving up trying to convincing him not to go, his son decides to bring him on this final journey. It turns out not to be a story about the prize money, but pride, jelousy and greed. A wonderful, humoristic movie shot in black&white, filled with cliches of the hopeless old childhood town that has not changed a bit.

Nobody's Daughter Hae-won
Sang-soo Hong
South Korea
A young student is having an affair with a married university lector.  They have a good time together, they break up, they get back together again. It is as simple as that. But the silent and soft way the story is told makes this a beautiful taste of South Korea in autumn. The actions and reactions of the protagonists are unexpected and unusual, which makes this quite exotic.

Bitch Hug
Andreas Öhman

An entertaining story about a teenager getting her life's chance - a ticket to New York, to write about her experiences there. This is #1 of 1000 crazy things she wants to do in her life. And then she manages to miss the flight. Sometimes you need to travel to appreciate what you have and who you are. She does not travel but still learns to appreciate. A fun, surprising and quite charming youth film.

A Street in Palermo
Emma Dante
Italy, Switzerland, France

You know the cliche: Two cars meet in a narrow street, both are Italian, nobody wants to let the other pass. But they really do not want to budge, even when night falls and morning comes. Who will win this fight? And what is the fight really about? A solid portion of colorful people, pasta, discussions and drama, all what you would expect in an Italian movie. Nicely put together, with surprising details. And I really wonder if the street is getting wider and wider through the film, at the end there is space for four cars side by side. There must be some symbolic in that.

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen 
Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk
Canada, Denmark, Greenland

A story of an explorer, but mostly about Inuit life before and when Christianity arrived. Not much story happening, but then again, the Inuit life seemed to be mostly about surviving from day to day. An exotic and interesting, but way to long movie.

This Is Sanlitun
Robert I. Douglas
China, Iceland, Australia

A hopeless guy arrives in Beijing in hope of being reaccepted by his ex-wife and son. His plan is to sell North-Korean hair-growth-water. Not the best business plan, but there might be worse business plans than that. He meets another Westerner, that claims to be fully integrated in Chinese culture, and offers to be the mentor. Only to be outfooled by a stronger crook. Beijing is the city where dreams may come true, but may also be crushed the next second. A funny story, but way too caricatured characters.

M-city at Vitenfabrikken

Vitenfabrikken, Sandnes
From November 2013
Stencil mural in a technical museum, part of a new exhibition

Polish artist M-city just keeps on returning to Rogaland, on invitations both to Nuart streetart festival and to commissioned work in public buildings.

His artwork inside Rogaland Kunstmuseum (now Stavanger Kunstmuseum) is long gone since 2007, that is also the case of the mural at Skur 2, and the giant ship at Siriskjær is fading. But his commissioned wall inside the Petroleum Directorate at Ullandhaug should be still there. And all visitors to Stavanger arriving by plane may see the control tower painted by M-city this summer during Nuart. His freshest piece is inside Sandnes Science Museum. You would have to pay the entrance ticket to get in, but it will be worth it. And as a bonus you can enjoy all the fun of the museum.

The mural will be an integrated part of the museum's new permanent exhibition. The motive is inspired by the innovations from Sandnes, especially the DBS bikes, DBS as a prononciation of the rather pretentious but fitting name Den Beste Sykkel (The Best Bike).

M-city at Vitensenteret, Sandnes
Work in progress. Photo by kalevkevad

M-city at Vitensenteret, Sandnes
Finished wall. Photo by M-city

12 November 2013

Screening Program: Little House in the Periphery

Screening Program: Little House in the Periphery
Kinokino, Sandnes
-Choose Order, 2004, dir. Andreas Maimik
-New World, 2012, dir. Jaan Tootsen
-Alyosha, 2008, dir. Meelis Muhu
-A Monument to Please Everyone, 2011, Kristina Norman
documentaries, director talk
part of the Estonian Dream project

How often do you get the opportunity to watch Estonian documentaries all day and talk to some of the directors in Sandnes? Not often enough.

Kristina Norman and Meelis Muhu

In a screening program part of the Estonian Dream project, we got a great pick of critical documentaries from Estonia.

First the classical mockumentary Choose Order, where the political choices of a rather populistic right-wing party that suddenly appeared on the scene are taken to the extreme. By carrying out the rules literally, the irony shines through and reveals the short-sightedness of the rules. This has been a classic in Estonian documentary.

Then on to New World, a wonderful story about idealistic people wanting to make their neighborhood a little bit more friendly. But it is difficult keeping idealism alive while some neighbours complain about the music, the police comes around to see all documentation, and the landlord wants the rent to be paid in time. More about the movie and the movement here.

Then on to a documentary by one of the directors present. "Alyosha" shows the background, the climax and the aftermath of the "Bronze Soldier riots" in Tallinn in April 2007. The conflict grew as a result of different views of Estonian- and Russian-speaking citizens, symbolized by a war monument in the center.

And in the end Kristina Norman's story of erecting a new war monument, the Freedom War Monument at the Freedom Square in Tallinn. We follow the story of two young engineers that suddenly won the competition for the monument, and how this rather controversial sculpture was finally put on its place, fulfilling both the expectations of war veterans and high officials.

Kristina Norman and Meelis </p><p>Muhu

The following talk with the directors Kristina Norman and Meelis Muhu gave further insight into the topics. Both have an impressive knowledge through their wide range of video/art. I had a long, but very interesting and informative day in the comfortable seats of the cinema at Kinokino.

What struck me was how well the movies fit together. One movie showed us how easy it is to erect a monument, another one how difficult it is to tear one down. Or rather, how difficult it is to add symbolic value and mythology into a monument, and how difficult it is to take it away. One movie showed how easy it is to change the world if you are under the wings of important people, and another one how difficult it is if you are not, even if you have the best intentions.

11 November 2013

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord
Galleri Gann, Sandnes
Paintings & photos

I already knew that the photos of Geir Egil Bergjord's concept of photographing important sights through private windows were great, seen at the exhibition at Stavanger kunstmuseum. And I also knew what great colorful abstract paintings Mona Orstad Hansen makes. But I had never thought about combining the two so different styles. They were sure it would work out fine, and they were right. This is 1+1=3. When seeing those two expressions together, I start enjoying the abstract elements in reflections and window frames in the photos, and I sense important sights hidden in the paintings. And the key piece to it all are the prints of a collaboration by both artists, where colors are painted onto photos. Here photo and abstract painting is combined into something hard to define as either abstract or figurative, and that just makes a lot sense. They are passing their style and motives from one to another, and the result is for you to enjoy.

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning

Mona Orstad Hansen & Geir Egil Bergjord: Pasning