On 3 February at 18.00 Kogo Gallery, based in Tartu, Estonia will open a group exhibition Greetings, and Whatever Customarily Restores a Bond About to Break curated by Brigit Arop and including artists Agnė Jokšė (LT), Anna Trell (EE), Cloe Jancis (EE), Diāna Tamane (EE). The exhibition explores friendship and intimacy between women, and the sense of security, caring and romance as well as the grief of breakup that stem from it. The show is part of Kogo Gallery’s 2023 programme Queer It Up.
The exhibition Greetings, and Whatever Customarily Restores a Bond About to Break is driven by the effort to navigate the meanings related to friendship, where personal experiences, cultural representations, ideals and reality, and personal and societal expectations of close relationships collide.
Four works have made it to the exhibition; three of them are inspired by the summer reading club – these were gatherings with artists to understand women’s friendship by reading texts and sharing our experiences. Agnė Jokšė’s video performance Dear Friend from 2019 was inspired by the pain of breaking up with a close friend. The letter, which combines autobiography and fiction, is placed against the background of the societal pressure to value romantic relationships instead of friendships. Jokšė’s sensitive writing continues in Anna Trell’s installation, which will hopefully grow into a social sculpture with the help of the audience. Trell invites viewers to reflect on their own conflicts, breakups or the gradual demise of friendships and write a letter to a past or present companion. Cloe Jancis was inspired by the cognitive aspect of friendship, the feeling of being cared for. The intertwined bodies speak of trust, security and emotional openness. Diāna Tamane took photographs of twins, whose family resemblance and different personalities suggest a friend as another self – the nuanced set of similarities and differences is also the basis for recognising their soulmate. The altar-like work is dedicated to the artist’s friends and includes her first attempts in ceramics.
The title of the exhibition refers to the numerous manuals in medieval Western Europe that helped people write a letter to a friend. One of the instructions suggests to begin a letter with the very sentence: “Greetings, and whatever customarily restores a bond about to break.”
The opening will take place on 3 February at 18.00 at Kogo Gallery, situated in Tartu, Estonia at Aparaaditehas (Widget Factory) on Kastani 42. The show can be visited 3.2.–25.03.2023, the gallery is open Wed–Fri at 13.00–19.00, Sat at 13.00–18.00.
The exhibition is accompanied by a versatile public and educational programme. The first event takes place on 4 February, which is a curator’s tour (in Estonian), starting at 14.00 at Kogo Gallery. Info about other upcoming events will be soon published on the gallery’s Facebook page.
Kogo Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Tartu, founded in 2018, focusing primarily on introducing younger generation artists in Estonia and internationally. The artists of the gallery include Eike Eplik, Alexei Gordin, Mari-Leen Kiipli, Kristi Kongi, Laura Põld, Līga Spunde and Elīna Vītola.
Greetings, and Whatever Customarily Restores a Bond About to Break is the first exhibition in Kogo Galler’s this year’s programme entitled Queer It Up. This programme celebrates all that is positioned as fluid, different, unidentifiable, glitchy, marginal and uncomfortable. Topics like friendship, nature, magic, gender and failure will be tackled within the programme.