Photo reportage from the exhibition by the Baltic Drag King Collective at Kogo Gallery

September 12, 2023
Author Echo Gone Wrong

At Kogo Gallery, based in Tartu, Estonia, is currently on view a group exhibition Drag Yourself Here by the Baltic Drag King Collective – a fluid community of drag performance artists from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The exhibition invites to experience, via drag, a glimpse into queer nightlife, gender empowerment and politics. Drag Yourself Here is curated by Mētra Saberova, Latvian queer feminist performance and moving-image artist. The show is part of Kogo Gallery’s this year’s programme Queer it Up.

The Baltic Drag King Collective’s exhibition Drag Yourself Here celebrates the extended queer community, who have made the collective decision to work together for a more joyous and inclusive society, both on and off the stage. The exhibition, curated by Latvian artist Mētra Saberova, who is also the Collective’s co-founder and manager, consists of photographic material by Latvian photographers Krista Saberova and Edgars Tabaks from the ongoing activities of the Baltic Drag King Collective, with individual contributions from its members. The display showcases the scope of their performances and their varied and distinct approaches to, and motivations for, dwelling in the world of drag, and examines the contested world of gender roles and their disruption.

The drag artists and contributors to this exhibition are Mētra Saberova (Timmy), Krista Saberova, Edgars Tabaks, Ilze Vēze-Balode (Henry Oak), Mailo Štern, DJ Lévi, Marss The Person, Vincent Hemingay, Dawn (K!NK), Niko Rain (Bazilix), Vencheska Baltique and Vivianna Maria Stanislavska from Latvia; Hanna Kannelmäe (Eeben Früülep), Maxx Toxic, MajorDanger, Ms Elsa, Helgi Saldo and Wickler Wilde from Estonia; King A and Querelle from Lithuania.

The exhibition hosts a number of public programme events.

On 16 September at 22.00, starts a drag show at Genialistide klubi in Tartu where this year’s Baltic Drag King will be crowned. The event is co-organised with Vikerruum, a queer nightlife series and is part of the extended programme of the exhibition.

On 30 September at 16.00, a book club will gather at Kogo Gallery. The event is co-organised with Behemoth’s Centre which focuses on amplifying the voices of LGBT+ people and other marginalised communities.

Kogo Gallery is located at Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42 in Tartu, Estonia, the gallery is open for visits on Wed–Fri at 13–19 and on Sat at 13–18. The exhibition will remain open until 21 October.

Drag Yourself Here is part of Kogo Gallery’s this year’s programme Queer It Up which celebrates all that is positioned as fluid, different, unidentifiable, glitchy, marginal and uncomfortable.The exhibition is funded by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the City of Tartu, the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Nordic Culture Point Mobility Funding Program and VV Foundation.

Special thanks to Lisett Kruusimäe and Laura Barbo.

Kogo is a contemporary art gallery in Tartu, Estonia, founded in 2018. The gallery focuses on the younger generation of artists, currently representing eight artists from the Baltic countries. The gallery’s recent and upcoming presence in international art fairs includes Art Brussels, Liste Art Fair Basel, Around Video Art Fair and others.

Photography: Roman-Sten Tõnissoo