Thursday 4 March 2021

Tallinn Art Triennial

Written by Jess Berlin

Tallinn Art Triennial

The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial will take place at Kai Art Center from the 29th May until 15th August. This edition is curated by Stine Bidstrup, a Danish glass artist and art historian.

The curatorial concept focuses on the phenomenon of translucency both in contemporary craft and in a broader social context. Bidstrup has selected 22 artists from the Nordic countries, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Estonia and Lithuania.

The Triennial’s main exhibition titled ‘Translucency’ will feature the work of these 22 artists whose practices span a variety of media: glass, ceramics, clay, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, installation, jewellery, weaving, video, furniture, 3D-printing and digital design.

Bidstrup says, “the curatorial theme of translucency is exemplified in a myriad of ways through the work of teh selected artists; translucency as a phenomenon, as an intermediate space inhabiting the space between the polar opposites of transparency and opacity, translucency in the use of language, in politics, in architecture and spatial experience, creating ambiguity and complexity."

Bidstrup’s curatorial concept centres on what is in-between two extremities. She considers the wide use and promotion of glass (and transparency) to indicate power and economic surplus, but when transparency is proclaimed as a sign of openness in architecture or politics or elsewhere, it is more often than not a sign of opacity, of not being able to see what is really going on. Looking in and looking out do not take place on equal grounds – transparency on the surface can, in fact, hide hermetic power structures and hierarchies. However, opacity, too, can be of value and at times, truly necessary. Read more about Bidstrup’s curatorial concept here.

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