Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Endangered Species' by Flo Kasearu at the Tartu Art Museum

April 6, 2020
Author Echo Gone Wrong

A small shop in the suburbs of Pärnu. A barbershop in Puhja. An accounting office in Maardu. Estonia advertises itself to the world as a place where founding a company only takes a moment. Great. What about ending business activities? In the 1990s, many were glad to exploit the newly liberalised opportunities for entrepreneurship and haven’t stopped doing business ever since, although continuing their entrepreneurial activities hasn’t been their heart’s desire for a long time.

Small businesses, or more accurately micro businesses, form about 95% of Estonian companies. Most of them have only a couple of employees, often only one: the owner. 28% of all entrepreneurs are women. Great. Of these women, 72% are solo entrepreneurs. How many of them think about quitting each and every day?

Once a male prime minister said that those who have been entrepreneurs for twenty years are heroes since they are brave enough not to give up. He said this some years ago. Last year, a male owner well above fifty decided to sell his large car sales company to Finns, and the daily business newspaper Äripäev named him the entrepreneur of the year precisely because he dared to quit. What does this say about Estonia? How many people dream of a soft landing?

Flo Kasearu (1985) is an artist who works directly with various social processes, using her characteristic humour and irony. Her works include videos, photos, paintings, installations and performances, with the approach chosen to suit a given theme. Flo has focused on various topical questions, such as freedom, public and private space, the economic crisis and the role and opportunities of women in society. She often turns to her own life and the lives of those closest to her for inspiration. Since 2013, she has been the director of Flo Kasearu’s House Museum.

Curator: Marika Vaarik
Graphic design: Mirjam Reili
Textual dramatist: Laur Kaunissaare
Assistant and consultant: Hanna-Liis Kont
Co-ordinator: Kristlyn Liier
Educational programme: Kristel Sibul
Technical support: Tehniline Direktor

Flo Kasearu
‘Endangered Species’
Tartu Art Museum

Photography: Taavi Piibemann