58th Venice biennial: Kris Lemsalu’s solo show at the Estonian Pavilion & the participation of Keiu Krikmann, Aleksandra Kiskonen and Ellen Vene at the Estonian, Finnish and Nordic Pavilions

April 30, 2019
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Kris Lemsalu’s solo show “Birth V – Hi and bye” at the Estonian Pavilion at the 58th Venice biennale

Photo by Edith Karlson

Photo by Edith Karlson

The inauguration of the Estonian Pavilion at the 58th Venice biennale will be on 10th of May at 17 with Kris Lemsalu’s solo show “Birth V – Hi and bye”. The exhibition opening will be accompanied by a performance by Kris Lemsalu, Roman Lemberg, Michael Kleine, Kyp Malone, Michiko Takahashi, Carola Caggiano.

Kris Lemsalu was born in 1985 in Tallinn, Estonia, and lives and works between Vienna and Tallinn. She creates mixed-media sculptures, installations and performances with unexpected materials. Lemsalu’s pieces evoke the bestial side of human beings and civilizations and are often underscored by feminist themes. Lemsalu has shown at Goldsmiths’ CCA (2018), Secession Vienna (2018), as part of Performa 17 (2017), DRAF performance night (2017), Bunshitu Gallery, Tokyo (2015), Ferdinand Bauman Gallery, Prague (2015) and is represented by Koppe Astner, Glasgow and Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn.

Among the writers, artists, curators and friends Lemsalu invited collaborate with her on the exhibition include Andrew Berardini (1982, based in Los Angeles) a writer of quasi-essayistic prose poems about permeability between fiction and reality; Sarah Lucas (1962, based in London)—artist, friend and a mentor of Kris Lemsalu; Irene Campolmi (1987, based in Copenhagen) whose curatorial research focuses on various performative endeavours that think through postcolonial, queer and feminist theories, and Tamara Luuk (1952, based in Tallinn) who has been Kris´ friend and collaborator for a long time, currently working as the contemporary art curator at Tallinn Art Hall.

The Venice biennale is the oldest and biggest international art even. Estonia has participated with national pavilion since 1997. The 58th International Art Exhibition will happen from 11.05 – 24.11.2019, the curator of the exhibition is Ralph Rugoff, director of Hayward gallery in London.

The Estonian Pavilion is commissioned and organized by Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia and supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Commissioner: Maria Arusoo (CCA)
Communication manager: Kaarin Kivirähk (CCA, kaarin@cca.ee)
Production managers: Evelyn Raudsepp, Sten Ojavee (CCA)
Production assistant: Aleksandra Kiskonen
Designer: Aadam Kaarma
Head of installation team: Tõnu Narro
Partners: Eesti Kultuurkapital, COBALT Advokaadibüroo, DSV transport, Outset Estonia, Silber Auto, Eesti Kunstnike Liit, Elusia, Bekker, Leffe, Temnikova ja Kasela galerii, Koppe Astner galerii

Solo show by Kris Lemsalu „Birth V – Hi and bye“ at the Estonian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – la biennale di Venezia
Location: The Estonian Pavilion, c/o Legno&Legno, Giudecca 211, 30133 Venezia
Open: 11.05.2019 – 24.11.2019 (press and professional preview 8. – 10.05)


Keiu Krikmann, Aleksandra Kiskonen and Ellen Vene to start working at Estonian, Finnish and Nordic Pavilions at the 58th Venice biennial


NBC assistants 2019 (from left): Aleksandra Kiskonen, Ellen Vene, Keiu Krikmann. Photo: Kent Märjamaa

The partners of the Nordic-Baltic Curatorial Research Programme (NBC) announce the participants of the exhibition assistant exchange programme 2019: Keiu Krikmann, Aleksandra Kiskonen and Ellen Vene who will start working at three national pavilions at the 58th Venice Biennale. The participants were selected via an open call that received 58 applications.

Keiu Krikmann (1988) who will be working with the Nordic Pavilion team, is an Estonian curator, writer and translator. She  has previously worked at the Estonian Academy of Arts gallery as gallerist-programme manager (2016–2018) and has taught courses in 20th and 21st century design theory of  at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Keiu is also a programme manager at the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial and coordinator and and curator at the online project space Konstanet.

Aleksandra Kiskonen (1986) will be working with the Estonian Pavilion team. Aleksandra is a writer, curator and researcher based in Helsinki. She is pondering on friendship, feminism, public engagement and questions related to ecology. Currently she is working in Trophic Verses, an artistic exploration by artist Teemu Lehmusruusu into the life and phenomena in and around soil. Additionally, she produces the ongoing project Patsastellaan – Parties for public Sculpture. Aleksandra holds a PhD in Law (2015, University of Turku), Bachelor of Arts in Aesthetics (2016, University of Helsinki) and is enrolled in the Praxis Master´s Programme (Exhibition Studies) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki.

Ellen Vene (1990) will be working at the Finnish Pavilion. She is an Estonian artist and event manager and  has previously worked at the studios of Merike Estna and Donna Huanca. She is organising Mägede Hääl festival, has worked as programme manager and co-owner of Lekker club.

The NBC partners are the Center for Contemporary Arts, EstoniaFrame Contemporary Art Finland, and CRIS, The Nordic Art Association, Sweden. The Exhibition Assistant Exchange Programme is an opportunity for emerging curators and art professionals to gain work experience and be part of preparing and producing a major art event. The programme offers paid internship opportunities for young art professionals and promotes co-operation between the Nordic and Baltic countries. The programme lasts for three years, the next assistant exchange programme open call will be announced in 2020. The programme is supported by Nordic Culture Point.