Excess and Refusal is centred around the notions of excess and refusal as artistic and lived practices. The two are, in fact, a contingent pair – often excess is achieved through refusal and refusal is enforced because of excess.
Our understanding of excess relies on the idea of existence of limits to what is acceptable – politically, culturally, in our private and public lives etc. Refusal or inability to abide by these limits – to step outside the acceptable – produces what is perceived as excess, often with connotations of immorality. Declaring someone or something excessive is also a way to refuse access, means and power. However, a conscious refusal can emerge as a powerful strategy for reclaiming one’s agency.
Historically, ideas of excess, opulence, luxury and abundance have been associated with a rather negative image and linked to frivolity, unseriousness and unintellectuality. In art, for example, these alignments have allowed disregarding a wide array of artistic practices as sidenotes to “Great Art”. In the context of this dichotomy and while refusing to be subjected to it, the artists in the show use excess as a tool for invention, both aesthetically and conceptually.
The show looks at refusal and excess in various contexts and themes: gender and activism, queerness, abjection and grotesque, health and illness, performativity, community building and experimentation. This is a quest for imaginative opulence.
The exhibition is accompanied by curatorial tours in English and Estonian.
Tours are for free but pre-booking is required via links below.
In Estonian – 28 July, 5pm Link to register
In English – 18 August, 5pm Link to register
The exhibition will also host The Making of Egregore – the next edition of the Persona event series on 31 July, 4 pm.
More information will be added to the Persona web site.
Excess and Refusal
Artists: Be Oakley, Rebecca Jagoe, Sandra Kosorotova, Hanna Kisch, Agu Pilt, Pire Sova & Ando Naulainen, Women’s History Museum
Curator: Keiu Krikmann
Graphic design: Ott Kagovere & Indrek Sirkel
Thank you: Anu Grabbi, Harry Liivrand, Ain Talalaev, Aarne Kraam and Lili Pilt