Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Letters to My Neighbours. What Is It Like to Be a Door Snail?' by Jane Remm at Vaal Gallery

September 1, 2023
Author Echo Gone Wrong

The exhibition “Letters to My Neighbours. What Is It Like to Be a Door Snail?” focuses on communication and co-creation with the artist’s non-human neighbours. In 2021, while living at her summer house, Remm started writing letters to those she met there: to the great tit, the blackbird, the mouse, the chaffinch, the cuckoo, the hare, the snails and others. With these letters, she explored the possibilities and impossibilities of communicating with them, while keeping in mind the species characteristics of the addressee.

Remm discusses how she is perceived by other living creatures and draws parallels with her own life. In order to better understand others, she researches their Umwelten, creates ways to communicate with them and translates her experience of nature into a visual form. These letters are the impetus for this exhibition at Vaal Gallery, which includes themes such as the differences and similarities between species, the importance of the (home)environment and post-humanist ethics. The exhibition conveys the artist’s experience of being in nature and as a part of nature.

Jane Remm (b 1978) is an artist, art teacher and artistic researcher.
She is a lecturer of art didactics at Tallinn University and is doing doctoral studies in art and design at Estonian Academy of Arts. Remm’s work focuses on the representation of the experience of nature, communication and co-creation with different life forms. She is interested in understanding and interpreting the experience of other species and communicating with them as equal dialogue partners via visual media. She values manual working and co-creation with other species as a way of perceiving herself as part of nature.

Exhibition design: Johannes Säre
Exhibition sound: Patrick Tubin McGinley

The artist is thankful to all of her human and non-human neighbours for co-creation, inspiration and contribution, especially: the wasps, the honey bees, the bats, the mice, the snails, the tits, the hens, the heather, Viisu and Kuusu, Meelika Hainsoo, Lauri Õunapuu, Lilian Freiberg, Viivika Siplane, Agu Trolla, Loviise Liia Paas, Kaili Preismann, Liilia Tali, Olivia Till, Mats Meriste, Jarõna Ilo.

She is also very thankful to her family for inspirational discussions and support: Alexander Kuchmezov, Artur Kuchmezov, Marta Johanna Kuchmezov, Kustas Kuchmezov, Jaanus Remm, Tiit Remm, Liina Remm, Mare Remm, Kalle Remm, Piret Remm.

Many thanks for inspiration: Proloogkool and mentors Maarin Ektermann, Ingrid Ruudi and Kai Lobjakas, EKA Doctoral School, Liina Unt, Urve Sinijärv, Marta Konovalov, Biotoopia, Kelli Turmann ja Peeter Laurits, Vaal galerii, Tiina Määrmann and Kelli Gedvil.

Exhibition is supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Vinné Sklepy Kutná Hora.

“Letters to My Neighbours. What Is It Like to Be a Door Snail?”
Jane Remm
10/08/2023 — 02/09/2023
Vaal Gallery

Tuesday–Friday 12pm–6pm, Saturday 12pm–4pm
Telliskivi 60A/5, Tallinn

Photography: Silver Gutmann