An exhibition by two well-regarded Estonian artists – Krista Mölder and Neeme Külm – is currently on view at Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn. The cooperative installation titled “Being Present” stems from the artists’ shared interest in interior spaces and the possibilities of perceiving them. But the only indication of what lays within the gallery’s walls is embedded in a single paragraph:
“A pause. A room full of shadows. Some light trickling through from somewhere. A barely audible sound, a hallway, air standing still on photographs, mirroring a room in another room, right here, like somewhere else. Almost nothing. This is so goddamn easy it’s losing meaning. A flow from one room to the other. Attention focuses on something not really seen. Air. A sense of being there, for the room’s sake. When entering at an inopportune moment, as if through a back door, the room resembles a bag turned inside out, the location’s significance and the essence of the piece blurred. A need to understand ― a cognitive vacuum ― emerges. A room between two rooms that is not a room. A sensitivity to light, the existence of “me”. This is it. Pleasure and the yearning for it. Pleasure that makes one hanker after something. Something is missing, and this absence is trying to make itself disappear. If you focus on the lamp and not the door, you might have arrived.”
Arterritory.com contacted visual artist Krista Mölder (1972) and sculptor, performance and video artist Neeme Külm (1974) to learn more about the exhibition.
Where did the concept of this exhibition originate?
K.M.: The idea for the exhibition grew out of a project I did last year, which was inspired by the Japanese word “MA” — a rather multidimensional notion that stands for a pause, a calm, meaningful gap in both the temporal as well as the spatial sense. From that basis I reached the idea of the potential, the possibility of a space, which is reflected in both the selection of photographs as well as the idiosyncrasies of the exhibition space.
The full concept of the space was hatched as a cooperation, which involved a continuous process of tweaking the spatial installation as well as the set of pictures. Neeme came up with a symmetrical and simple solution for the gallery by ruling out everything unnecessary. All that’s left are the shadows and the reflections of the rooms within each other. Our intention was to show how the space in a photograph can be carried over into the gallery. And the idea of this exhibition repeats itself in all rooms/spaces.
N.K.: The gallery-space is contingently divided into three parts: the front hall that opens onto the street with its own reflections and diffractions; the hallway with the fans and the sound; and the hall with the photographs, representing a living room.
What does “being present” mean to you?
K.M.: Being present is a state of being void of judgement, but full of possibilities, notes, and allusions to be perceived. Of promising to be “within the void”, i.e., of allowing oneself to be in a positive null-state.
N.K.: It’s like music without sound.
How did you decide to collaborate together? And what has been each of your strengths regarding this exhibition?
K.M.: The collaboration was brought about by the exhibition’s working title: “The Potential of Space”. The word “potential” made me think of my own role as an artist, about the possibilities, which made me decide to cooperate with another artist in order to expand the potentials of this work, the particular gallery, and myself — so that we might channel each other’s ideas into the work process —, and to bring forth the piece’s potential in a manner that would confront the viewer already on the doorstep.
While engaged in the preparation of this exhibition, I found a joint project as a format to be a substantially more demanding and sensitive than a solo exhibition. I had a chance to have my ideas reflected within the work process, to test them; I understood that I have to be very clear and aware when presenting my thoughts. The project’s main strength lies in having trust in the process.
N.K.: My strength lies in my ability to get excited.
Nowadays more and more artists choose to work in groups, where ideas can be shared and generated. Do you think that this trend will become even stronger in the future?
N.K.: We haven’t really thought about whether this is the case; it might be. One of the reasons for this emerging movement may possibly be the artists’ growing need to find brilliant solutions for implementing their ideas.
K.M.: Nowadays it’s both hard and unnecessary to be talented at everything. Synergy between different fields and people generates a fresh quality.
The exhibition “Being Present” is on view at Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn, until December 28, 2012.