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Photo reportage from the exhibition by Bita Razavi at the Kogo gallery

Bita Razavi’s ongoing project ‘Museum of Baltic Remont’ is composed of documentation of what may appear to be a mundane task. Over the last three years, she has been renovating an abandoned house in the Estonian countryside and an apartment in Tartu. What sets her construction apart is her fascination with and scrutiny of the various materials that have been used to repair homes in the Baltic region throughout years of changing economic and political situations. The materials that were used during the Soviet era to insulate and renovate these houses, have been collected and preserved as if they were samples for an anthropological research study. Following on from of her earlier works in which she documented the common traits of Finnish and Iranian households, Razavi has now built a commemorative scientific installation to showcase the invisible building materials that many people in the Baltic region live amongst. She employs the absurd form of a national museum to explore the agency and role of such museums in construction of national identity and creation of a shareable narrative for the masses.

Bita Razavi (b. 1983) born in Tehran, lives and works between Helsinki and Estonian countryside. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Tehran University of Arts and holds a Masters in Fine Art from Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Razavi’s practice is centred around observations and reflections on a variety of everyday situations. She examines the inner workings of social systems in relation to the political structures of various countries and national events of historic proportions. Razavi reacts to and explores the agency of objects and systems as they act upon her and as she documents and records them. Bita Razavi has exhibited her work at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 1st Trondheim Biennale, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki Photography Biennale, Helsinki Design Museum, Videobrasil, SESC Pompeia, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Göteborg International Biennal for Contemporary Art, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kalmar Art Museum and Latvian National Museum of Art. In 2017 Razavi received the Oskar Öflund Foundation’s grand prize.

Bita Razavi
Museum of Baltic Remont
Kogo gallery
17/10 – 16/11/2019

Graphic design: Aleksandra Samulenkova (LV/NL)

The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and by the city of Tartu, TYPA centre (formerly The Estonian Print and Paper Museum), Frame Finland, Kone Foundation and Kuma brewery.

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Bita Razavi. Museum of Baltic Remont. 2019. Installation, dimensions variable. Installation view at Kogo gallery. Photo Bita Razavi

Installation view. Bita Razavi. The Essential Guide to Remont. 2019. HD video, B&W, sound, duration 8′ 35”, original language Estonian

Video still. Bita Razavi. The Essential Guide to Remont. 2019. HD video, B&W, sound, duration 8′ 35”, original language Estonian

Video still. Bita Razavi. The Essential Guide to Remont. 2019. HD video, B&W, sound, duration 8′ 35”, original language Estonian

Video still. Bita Razavi. The Essential Guide to Remont. 2019. HD video, B&W, sound, duration 8′ 35”, original language Estonian