Tallinn Art Hall is proud to present the thought-provoking exhibition Chasing the Devil to the Moon: Art Under Lunar Occupation Today, curated by Corina L. Apostol. The exhibition explores the profound implications and complex questions arising from the concept of lunar colonisation and the act of recolouring the Moon. Featuring works by Agate Tūna (Latvia), Amélie Laurence Fortin (Poland/Canada), Ann Mirjam Vaikla (Estonia), Pau/a (Latvia/Germany) and Jila Svicevic (Estonia/Hungary/Serbia), as well as a performance by Eglė Šimėnaitė (Lithuania) Chasing the Devil to the Moon: Art Under Lunar Occupation Today opens on 8 June 2023 at 6 PM at Tallinn City Gallery.
Inspired by the 19th-century Estonian folk tale The Moon Painters, the exhibition delves into the power of art and the artist, in shaping our understanding of the world under lunar occupation. According to Selve Maas, the Estonian-American writer who retold the tale, the Devil set forth to paint the Moon with tar, but was forever trapped in his own medium, and the giant craters found on the Moon’s surface, the result of his rage and tarry footprints. Recolouring the Moon not only raises questions about our relationship to the lunar surface and the cosmos but also highlights the ethical and political implications of such artistic endeavors.
Curator Corina L. Apostol emphasises the significance of art and its potential impact on our perception of lunar occupation: “What would it mean to recolour the Moon? While art can inspire, challenge and transform, it can also reinforce existing power structures and perpetuate inequality. As we explore the possibilities of lunar occupation and nation-building, we must be mindful of the ethical and political implications of our actions.”
The exhibition showcases works selected through an open call. Ann Mirjam Vaikla’s Moving the Rosette challenges the dominant narrative of geopolitical tension between East and West, inviting viewers to reflect on the ways in which power structures have shaped our understanding of the world. Amélie Laurence Fortin’s The Blue Moon Project offers a visionary and utopian perspective on energy and sustainability, challenging traditional imperialist thinking. Jila Svicevic’s installation Luna Ring explores the socio-ecological engagement and environmental awareness surrounding lunar occupation, while Pau/a’s work Moon-Walking on the Moon stimulates critical discourse on settler colonialism and neoliberalism. Agate Tūna’s The Unforeseen Spectrum prompts viewers to reconsider the Moon’s role as a guardian of Earth, and Eglė Šimėnaitė’s performance Take Less Space and Disappear creates a mesmerising lunar-inspired experience, evoking the altered perceptions experienced by astronauts.
Through these diverse artistic projects, Chasing the Devil to the Moon: Art Under Lunar Occupation Today raises important debates and questions surrounding the ethics, responsibilities, practicalities, funding, reception, interpretation and sustainability of projects that combine art and the public sphere.
Curator Corina L. Apostol emphasises the significance of this exhibition within the broader context: “The Moon is an image of power and, at the same time, a new frontier for power – a site of inward and outward pressures, of the struggle for autonomy and colonial control. What are the roles of art and the artist in these configurations of power?!”
Join us on 8 June at 6 PM for the opening of Chasing the Devil to the Moon: Art Under Lunar Occupation Today at Tallinn City Gallery (Harju 13). The exhibition will remain open until 27 August 2023.
At the opening event we invite the audience to take part in the immersive performance Take Less Space and Disappear by artist Eglė Šimėnaitė, starting from 8 PM.
The exhibition is supported by Goethe Institute, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation and Uninaks.
The Tallinn Art Hall Foundation is a contemporary art establishment that currently presents exhibitions in two galleries – at Tallinn Art Hall’s Lasnamäe Pavilion and Tallinn City Gallery. The exhibitions of Tallinn Art Hall are installed by Valge Kuup Studio.