Photo reportage from the exhibition 'As It Came Out of The Earth, It Returns' by Kert Viiart at Hobusepea Gallery

October 13, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Kert Viiart will opened his solo exhibition As It Came Out of The Earth, It Returns in Hobusepea gallery September 23rd, 2022. The exhibition will be open until October 17th, 2022.

According to the artist, one can presume that the future in plastic ruins will arrive unexpectedly; however, the dystopian narrative has become almost an inevitable part of the future of our planet; creating unimaginable landscapes. Nondegradable plastic waste will be unavoidable part of the history of humankind. Perhaps instead of the achievements of certain civilizations, the future archaeology will tell about the dystopian results of civilization and humankind.

Through daily consumption and comfort habits, humankind creates new geological strata and future artifacts. Every year, almost 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced all around the world – but in order to handle all this, there is a lack of the necessary infrastructure as well as the economical and political will. The fact that plastic won’t degrade but “travels” through hundreds of years is intriguing me to treat the material from the archaeological perspective, as a part of the practice of future archaeology. At the current moment, plastic already has a huge role in the field of archaeology. In museums, plastic is used for presenting and preserving archaeological objects. A visit to the museum of archaeology may have the effect of a foretelling from the future. Plastic as a material is used in several different forms in order to narrate and present the history of ancient civilizations. We can only speculate what kind of afterlife the remains will have in case something drastic happened with the collections. One of the appalling examples is the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. On September 2nd, 2018 the oldest and most important museum of archaeology and science in Brazil was ruined in fire. It is estimated that 92,5% of the 20 million objects in the museum collection were destroyed. Numerous forest and landscape fires that took place in 2019 and that have increased during the past years, make me think about the dystopian future scenarios. What kind of landscape is being created by these fires when the plastic things and construction materials will melt into one with the ground while forming new landscapes and leaving the surface made of plastiglomerate rocks for the future generations?

While studying and speculating around these themes, Kert Viiart has created the installation As It Came Out of The Earth, It Returns (2019–2022) that includes sculptural forms and video work with sound (5’46’’). Through the installation, the artist observes contemporary archaeological expositions, plastic-based support structures, and construction materials while doubting the choices made when selecting the materials. These hybrid objects are joint images including both imagination as well as the material reality that create a speculative view to the future archaeology. The objects have “traveled” through time and deformed, while becoming a part of the ground and acquiring value and archaeological meaning.

The installation combines various materials, including glay, epoxy resin, found plastic construction materials, leftover plexiglass, found plastic waste and soil.

Kert Viiart (b. 1989) is an artist and graphic designer who lives and works in Tallinn. He has obtained MA degree in the department of Non Linear Narratives at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. In his creative practice, Viiart examines how the development of technology influences visual language while focusing on the associations between virtual presentations and everyday objects/environments. In his last projects, the artist has viewed plastic as a material and technological means as well as analyzed its influence to archaeology and the ways how artefacts are presented. The newest artwork As it Came Out of the Earth, It Returns (2019–2022) presents plastic as a part of future archaeology whereas the artist displays it through fictive and dystopian narratives.

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Dialoguepartner and technical help: Kristina Õllek

Thanks: Hanna Laura Kaljo, Mijke van der Drift, Ruben Pater, Linda van Deursen, Federico Campagna, Niels Schrader, Roosje Klap and KABK master’s program Non Linear Narratives.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Exhibition by Kert Viiart
As It Came Out of The Earth, It Returns
Open: 23.09.-17.10.2022
Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2, Tallinn.
Wed-Mon 11.00-18.00
Photography: Kristina Õllek