Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Return to Innocence' by Edith Karlson at Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia

November 12, 2021
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Exhibiting on all three floors of the museum, Edith Karlson turns her gaze towards the darker, filthier, funnier and gentler side of existence. The exhibition rooms at EKKM are transformed into spaces, where we come across all sorts of unexpected objects – terracotta eternity and Virgin Mary, an orchid and a bell jar, a tiny Christ and never-ending Enya. In addition to Karlson’s original pieces, the show also includes artworks from the Art Museum of Estonia, the Estonian History Museum, the Tartu City Museum and the archaeological research collection of the Tallinn University.

Edith Karlson is a sculptor, working with animalistic and brutal characters, untouched by the anguish of civilisation. The rough detailing of the surfaces, the seemingly unfinished and grotesque swollen form of Karlson’s sculptures speak to the undercurrents of our dark urges and primal horizons. Karlson’s work also invites more abstract questions of desires, death, sexuality and sacredness, offering a more raw and bodily experience instead of affirmation or negation of capitalism – it is the triumph of abject.

Spatial design Arthur Arula; lighting design Oliver Kulpsoo; graphic design Margus Tamm.

The exhibition is accompanied by curatorial tours in English, Estonian and Russian.

Special thanks to: Katrin Kissa, Maria Luiga, Loora Kaubi, Johanna Ulfsak, Raul Saaremets, Lya and Urmas Karlson, Art Allmägi, Raimond Danilov, Enna Jürine, Tõnno Jonuks, Elnara Taidre, Juta Kivimäe, Eve Alttoa, Kaur Alttoa, Isabel Aaso-Zahradnikova, Kersti Kuldna, Märt Haamer, Kadri Haamer, Kaur Vahtrik.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, Alas-Kuul, Overall, Wienerberger, Wolf Group (Penosil), Akzo Nobel Baltics, Estonian Drama Theatre, Põhjala Brewery, friends of Edith Karlson.

Exhibition title: Return to Innocence
Artist: Edith Karlson
Curator: Eero Epner
Venue: Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn
Date: 30.10.–12.12.2021
Photography: Paul Kuimet / EKKM