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‘Objects of Attention’ curated by Francisco Martínez at The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

The museum opens the 2019 exhibition programme with the exhibition “Objects of Attention”, curated by Estonian based anthropologist Francisco Martínez.

In this exhibition, ordinary things are revised into objects of attention. Ten artists have been invited to reflect on the capacity of artefacts to spark political concern and raise awareness of actual social challenges. Through the engagement of these artists with and through the expressive (material, design, functional, indexical) potential of things, everyday items have been transformed into devices for thinking about the contemporary — through topics such as migration, gender, environmental sustainability, digital rubbish, obsession with changes, and the role of humans in an automated world. The project is intended to transgress conventional ways of making, analysing, and representing things, exploring alternatives ways of producing knowledge. Also, it contributes to debates about the relationship of an artwork to its society, matters of aura and intentionality, the intrinsic properties of artefacts, as well as exploring the intersections from which the dialogue between contemporary art, anthropology, design, and museum studies can be brought forward.

Francisco Martínez is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and part of the editorial team of the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures. Matrínez’s reflection upon the themes of material culture, objects and approach to analysing art and design are most intriguing for the museum opening significantly the scope and practice in the field.

The Public Programme of the exhibition: “Experiments with Knowledge”

The public programme intends to re-function the museum into a meeting place and point of exchange, whereby different participants have to find ways to share their expertise and connect their capacities together. A key proposition behind this programme is that museums can be thought as places where things can happen and objects can be assembled as devices for thinking. In this light, the different events are not organised to know more, but to know differently and access to alternative forms of knowledge.

11.01. at 18.00 opening of the exhibition, 18.30 the performance by Mihkel Kleis and Roomet Jakapi.

Participating artists: Jussi Kivi, Laura Kuusk, Nino Kvrivishvili, Camille Laurelli, Eleonore de Montesquiou, Eva Mustonen, Emeli Theander, Timo Toots, Kirill Tulin, and Varvara & Mar

Graphic Designer: Ott Kagovere

Spatial Designer: Hannes Praks

The exhibition is open: 12.01-17.03.2019

12.01.2019 at 11-17.00 Seminar

Working language is English

Moderator: Francisco Martínez

Participants: Eeva Berglund, Derek Holzer, Roomet Jakapi, Ott Kagovere, Jussi Kivi, Mihkel Kleis, Nino Kvrivishvili, Laura Kuusk, Camille Laurelli, Patrick Laviolette, Eleonor de Montesquiou, Eva Mustonen, Hannes Praks, Kirill Tulin, Timo Toots, Varvara & Mar

Practical workshops:
Saturday, 19 of January: Timo Toots / experimenting with floppy disks
Saturday, 16 of February: Varvara Guljajeva (from duo Varvara & Mar) / experimenting with data cans

Tours of the exhibition
Three guided tours of the exhibition, two tours by the curator in English (19 January and 16 of March) and in Estonian (16 February).

The exhibition is supported by:
Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Helsinki University, Finnish Institute in Estonia

Curators’ acknowledments:
Marika Agu, Eeva Berglund, Karoliina Korpilahti, Kai Lobjakas, Kert Lokotar, Merly Mändla, Henri Papson, Elis Rumma, Jaan-Eik Tulve and Vox Clamantis