Kai Kaljo opened her personal exhibition Pile of Dirty Rags in Hobusepea gallery on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Exhibition will be open until September 19, 2022.
„In February 2022, I created a folder Explosions and volcanoes in my computer. Actually, I had had it already for a year since I added there my first image.
After a few weeks, they suddenly started to kill people in the next room.
And then I realized that actually there has always been a war, peace is just a break between wars. These are the rules of life. And you know nothing of these.
My eyes were opening, I suddenly started to look at my home with a completely different gaze. I was amazed how many items I have that bear recollections about killing and war: drawings by Andrus Johan, silver jewellery from Afghanistan, a Kuznetsov porcelain plate that my grandmother brought with her when she left St. Petersburg in 1918, a book signed by Gustav Suits. Even my house has been rebuild on the very spot it was once bombed.
In April I took the first pictures as well, even if this first seemed an impossible effort.
Two flowers: the first one reminding of a burnt corpse that has still some blood in the biggest blood vessel. I once worked at a forensic medical lab and the acquired skills suddenly started to reappear. The other flower has a window behind it, with the view of an exploding atomic bomb.
Pictures I never took but that were inside and around me all the time: a dog eating a man. A man eating a dog. Pieces of human bodies, corpses packed in plastic bags, fields covered with graves, the only thing that will be left of you is a pile of dirty rags …”.
Kai Kaljo is a diverse artist who graduated from the department of painting at the Estonian State Art Institute in 1990. Her graduation work consisted of fresco paintings for the culture house in Abja-Paluoja. The artist has participated in exhibitions since 1985 and since 1997 Kaljo has mainly practised as a video artist in the international field of art. Kai Kaljo has worked as a part-time lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1990–2021 and as a professor-associate professor of contemporary art at the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media and Arts School in 2006–2017.
She has received several art awards (such as the awards of the annual exhibitions of the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art in 1994 and 1997; Kristjan Raud Art Award in 2006 and others) and been in artist residencies in USA, Canada, Iceland, Italy, Finland. Kai Kaljo’s artwork of the recent years includes return to matter („Experiments with Microcosm” 2021; curatorial projects „Artists Painting Artists” in 2020 and „Schoolmates” in 2021).
Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Väino Tanner Foundation.
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.
Exhibition by Kai Kaljo
Title: Pile of Dirty Rags
Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2, Tallinn.
Photography: Anna Mari Liivrand