Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Reformation' by Hanno Soans & Silvia Sosaar at Draakon Gallery

May 28, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Hanno Soans and Silvia Sosaar opened their co-exhibition Reformation in Draakon gallery on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022. Exhibition will be open until May 28, 2022.

But where is the final destination of the roots of an event? Where are the last cells of an event-organism? These are nowhere. These exist only if agreed upon. This is especially obvious when observing the retroactivity of the specific event comparatively, let’s say in the context of Criminal Code and the possible feeling of guilt.

Jaan Kross, „Kajalood“, 1980

Present exhibition is a result of a several years long process – yet, it has the fixed beginning and the end point. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day 2018 when we planned to go the Papal Mass, carrying the slogan borrowed from Henry of Latvia “Laula, laula pappi!”*. Exhibition involves gestures that stay experimental and veiled gestures that add extra charge to the exhibited objects. Silvia Sosaar’s powerful installation memento mori brackets Hanno Soans’s more fragile artwork while addressing the public space in front of the Russian Embassy in Tallinn. The geographical locations presented at the exhibition refer to the island of Saaremaa, Kaliningrad, Münster and Tallinn as well as the timescale of the exhibition material extends back to 13th century of the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia throughout the year of 1997 up to the present day.

Every Reformation is initially an action. Reformation is born as a spontaneous reaction to the environment that is structured by traditions. Reformation flirts with personal space charged with public rites, whether these be finally represented in an exhibition hall, an icon or iconoclasm. At least for a few stimulated moments, Reformation serves as a symbolic counter-attack to the historical past or present or at least as a disquieting unrealized potential of this gesture. Reformation is a hygiene procedure and they say you have to wash yourself regularly.

Hanno Soans (b. 1974) is an art critic with the background in art history, a curator and artist who is currently studying in the doctoral school of art history and visual culture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. As an artist, Hanno Soans has participated in exhibitions 1997 while focusing on performance art, text-based artwork and video. He lives and works in Tallinn. Soans has obtained MA degree from the department of art history in 2003. In 1999–2008 Hanno Soans worked as a curator at the Art Museum of Estonia. Soans has been a member of artist grouping Stiilne Viisnurk (together with Andres Härm, Kiwa, Andres Lõo, Martin Pedanik and Jasper Zoova). Soans is a founding member of skaala publishing.

Silvia Sosaar (1979) works in Tallinn. In 2017, Sosaar graduated from the photography department of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA). In 2021, he obtained a master’s degree in contemporary art at EAA and was nominated for the EAA Young Artist Award with her graduation piece “The Sandbox We Were Given”. With her first solo exhibition “Shiny Shoes Salon” (2018) at the EAA Gallery, Sosaar turned the art gallery into a shoe cleaning salon. The exhibition consisted of a series of performances taking place before and during the exhibition, photographs, a video and a space installation. In 2019, Sosaar held an exhibition “Academy Sports Club” together with Hanno Soans at Hobusepea Gallery. The artist is a member of the Estonian Union of Photography Artists (FOKU) and has exhibited with the collective Umbrella Group. Sosaar is a founding member of ;paranoia and skaala publishing. The artist has participated in exhibitions in Estonia, Latvia, the United Kingdom, France and Pakistan.

The artists express their gratitude to: Andres Gailan, Madis Kaasik, Jaak Soans, the Sosaar family, Uku Toomet, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo.

Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Exhibitions in Draakon gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

* Sing, sing Priest!” (translation from Estonian), taken from “The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia”

Exhibition by Hanno Soans & Silvia Sosaar
Title: Reformation
Open: 04.05.-28.05.2022
Draakon Gallery, Pikk 18, Tallinn.
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 11.00-17.00
Photos by Anna Mari Liivrand