twitter facebook
Illustration by Anete Melece

Surprise of the year? 0

The Year 2012 in Review


Illustration by Anete Melece

The year 2013 is almost here and we have only one subject left to uncover – which were the past year’s biggest surprises? Since early December the staff of has been on a mission to learn the opinions of the many creative intellectuals from the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia. We have already revealed, which exhibitions, filmsbooks and even disappointments have created the most memorable impressions of the year 2012. Now it’s time for surprises. Happy holidays!

Christian Andersson, artist, Sweden
James Coleman at Reina Sofia, Madrid. I was VERY reluctant to even go there since I had a strong feeling I was about to witness a super-macho gig (this after seeing his piece at Documenta (12)). Once there I stayed for hours, blown away by his early films and slideshows, a big inspiration this year.  I still avoid the later stuff, though… 

Riivo Anton, entrepreneur, advisor and investor, Estonia
That Estonian art is a reasonably good investment - according to Estonian art index

Keta Gūtmane, fashion designer, Latvia
The greatest surprise would be the doomsday scenario that's supposed to take place in December 

August Künnapu, artist, Estonia
Kinetic sculpture with mirrors called Panoptic by Kite & Laslett in the courtyard of Kantstraße Women's Prison in Berlin. 

Maria Arusoo, curator and executive manager of Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia
Happened to watch one Estonian art broadcast from 19-something where they talked about art politics of the time and, surprisingly enough, over the years not much has changed.

Kaspars Vanags, cultural theoretician, Latvia
The presentation of Seth Siegelaub's textile collection at Raven Row gallery, in London.

Indriķis Ģelzis, artist, Latvia
As always – the arrival of summer.

Vita Zaman, art director of VIENNAFAIR, Austria

Olga Temnikova, owner of Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Estonia
Winning best New Entry prize at Artissima.

Helēna Demakova, art historian, Latvia
The year's biggest surprise was really something unexpected – last year, I wouldn't have believed it if I was told that the year's best exhibitions would be held at the Riga Dom Garden Gallery (Brigita Želca, Artūrs Bērziņš, Anda Lāce).

Marge Monko, artist, Estonia
Myself winning the Henkel Art.Award.

Karin Laansoo, director of Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, Estonia
Facebook IPO flop.

Darius Miksys, artist, Lithuania
Zag Heli Gold – powder skis.

Kaido Ole, artist, Estonia 
People and life around me, sometimes and somewhere.

Kaspars Podnieks, artist, Latvia
The new annex of the Art Academy of Latvia.

Anna Matveeva, art critic, Russia
Surprise of the year – the rise of obscurantism. The breakdown of the exhibition ICONS, the persecution of the [Jake and Dinos] Chapman exhibition at the Hermitage; on a national scale - the verdict for Pussy Riot. In art circles, until recently, it was not taken seriously to pay attention to such things: to all of this clowning; it did not affect our cozy intellectual sandbox; who would care about our esthetical exercises; it's ridiculous. In 2012, the absurdity is the norm of life: they came after us. We were all terribly surprised.

Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, art director of VIENNAFAIR, Austria
To start managing VIENNAFAIR.

Zaiga Gaile, architect, Latvia
Ziemeļu Kultūras Centrs / The Northern Cultural Center, in Rēzekne. The architecture may not be my type of thinking or way to express oneself, but I really liked the gumption of the young architects, Rasa Kalniņa and Māra Krūmiņa, and their ability to bring the project to fruition.

Jānis Putniņš, film director, Latvia
Probably the release of the blu-ray disc with the films of Hollis Frampton.

Jacob Fabricius, director of Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
The piece by Tino Sehgal at Documenta. I have seen quite a few of his pieces and I am usually not a fan, but this work took me by surprise. Blinded by summer sun walking into the black space with singing voices surrounding you, as if you were swimming in an sea of organic material, seemed weirdly comforting and surprising.

Sara Arrhenius, director of the Bonniers Konsthall, Sweden
Macura Museum, this small private museum hidden in the autumn fog outside Belgrade was a discovery for me when visiting the October Salon in Belgrade. The intimate domestic setting for an unusual collection of among other things avantgarde and neo-avantgarde art from Yugoslavia made it in to a very different museum experience.

Andra Neiburga, author and director of Neiburgs hotel, Latvia
Kustība (Motion), by Visvaldis Ziediņš.

Krišs Salmanis, artist, Latvia
The cemetery in Genoa. Until then, I thought that Italian's enjoyed life, but it turns out that the party doesn't end for them even after death.

Milena Orlova, editor-in-chief of The Art Newspaper Russia, Russia
Opening of the Design Museum in Moscow. I did not think that a couple of enthusiasts would be able to fulfill this idea in a year’s time. But its first exhibition has already opened – Soviet design 1950-1980’s at the Manege, which is where the museum will be based.