What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
The artist is wondering about ancient civilisations and especially about their extinction. How have such advanced cultures as Ancient Egypt, Rome, Jerusalem ceased to exist? We can only speculate on what happened: whether it was warfare, environmental degradation, a pandemic, or a complex combination of these events that was behind the collapse. While working in Portugal this spring, Mari encountered the legacy of Rome in the cityscape of Lisbon. In this visual space and an atmosphere of fluctuating cultural values, the questions about ancient civilisations became relevant to her again, and she intuitively started working with it. In architecture, a gargoyle is a figure with a spout designed to the side of a Roman building to throw rainwater away, thereby preventing corrosion. In Männa’s installation, gargoyles have no function – there is no water; the giant tooth-shaped object may refer to ravages of time. A lot is left to the viewer’s interpretation.
*Excerpt from T. S. Eliot poem “The Waste Land” (1922)
Mari Männa (1991) is a young artist who works with sculpture and installation. In 2020, she completed her MA of Contemporary Art at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She is very curious about challenging viewers’ experience of physical space, stretching the limits of scale, volume, and height as her works tower, block, and interrupt space.
Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tartu Artist’s Union
Tartu Art House, Vanemuise 26.
Photography by Mari Männa