Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Listen To My Scream, Hear Their Dreams' by Maria Kapajeva at the Draakon gallery

May 8, 2024
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Maria Kapajeva’s exhibition, “Listen To My Scream, Hear Their Dreams,” is profoundly influenced by Draakon Gallery’s location directly across from the Russian Embassy in Tallinn’s Old Town. Positioned in this manner, Kapajeva aims to foster a more nuanced dialogue regarding the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has led to a continual exposure to harrowing imagery. Consequently, a process of desensitization has transpired, rendering us less able to empathize with the enduring violence faced by real individuals still fighting for their lives in Ukraine. The intricate details, nuances, and personal narratives have been reduced to easily shareable content that briefly crosses our screens before fading into obscurity.

The artworks selected and created for this exhibition stem from the necessity to provide a platform for the personal accounts of those who have fled Ukraine, as well as the artist’s own imperative to express and scrutinize her suppressed anger regarding the ongoing conflict. In this exhibition, there are no images of war; instead, viewers are presented with works that demand time to engage with— to be read, listened to, and truly heard. These artworks compel us to scrutinize the language of the oppressor, where imperialist ambitions lurk behind ostensibly positive rhetoric. We encounter intimate tales of despair and devastation, yet also of hope and compassion. We are invited into a tumult of emotions, ultimately finding catharsis in releasing the anger buried deep within us.

Born in the Soviet Union, raised in independent Estonia, and educated in the UK, Maria Kapajeva has found herself in an involuntary position of ‘the other’. This position, which she has embraced and incorporated as a cornerstone of her artistic practice, propels her to investigate a diverse spectrum of cultural identity and gender issues within historical and contemporary contexts. Utilizing various mediums—including video, photography, textiles, and installations—she brings to the forefront elements that are frequently overlooked or relegated to the periphery of our vision.

Designer: Kersti Heile

Installation: Hans-Otto Ojaste and Valge Kuup

The artist expresses her gratitude to Lena, Sasha and the whole their family, Polina Kuznietsova, Alena Kapajeva, Inese Strupule, Kateryna Popkova, Hilda Vaike, Gulya Sultanova, Nastassia, Alia, Elizaveta Klepikova, Aditi S Sharma, Jacobina de Rivera, Annika von Hausswolff, Redi Koobak, Irina Andrushko, Aljona Tubaleva, Mari Volens, Valge Kuup and Aksel Haagensen, Kersit Heile, Jake Sheperd and the team of Draakoni gallery.

Exhibition by Maria Kapajeva
Title: Listen to My Scream, Hear Their Dreams
Open: 17.04.-11.05.2024
Draakon Gallery, Pikk 18, Tallinn.
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 11.00-17.00

Photography: Anna Mari Liivrand