Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Sacred Baths' by Peeter Laurits at Vaal Gallery

June 8, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

In Estonian culture, Peeter Laurits’ work fits in with a theoretical grouping of different creative professionals who are interested in Estonians’ and other Finno-Ugrians’ mythological relationship with nature. To this day, many Estonians see themselves as a nation who has a special relationship with their natural environment and landscape. In the works of Peeter Laurits uber-technologization merges with old-growth forests, marshes, and ancient legends. Laurits see nothing contradictory in this, ‘Human consciousness is based on archetypal structures which are probably not that dissimilar from those of pine trees, squirrels, or martens.’

We are searching for alien civilisations in outer space but should look for them in our backyard. In Laurits’ work this becomes possible: there are cosmic vapours rising from the bog, the glowing metro map of Paris melds together with the bark beetles’ tunnels, ancient brooks form a pulsating nervous system. ‘I dive into the Underworld, into the effervescence of primaeval waters, into dampness, into root systems, and reflections of primordial patterns. The primaeval water is as warm as I am, it’s as if I’m diving into myself… to show you the delicate and beautiful Underworld. There is no cave of horrors – the Underworld is an Elysium where the roots of plants and mushroom mycelia interweave, everything grows through each other, juices of life are being drunk mutually, out of them are born communication and exchange networks, everything is bubbling and rotting in slow motion, death is translated into birth and resorbed back into the circle of life. The Underworld is a long, open-eyed kiss and the kitchen of earthly pleasures – moist and fluffy, a motherboard dissolved in water.’

Peeter Laurits (b. 1962) has studied in New York, Tallinn, Tartu, and St. Petersburg. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, and his works are in the collections of Estonian, Finnish, American and Portuguese art institutions.

Team: Tiina Määrmann, Kristi Lahne, Kalmar Kurs, Elias Kuulmann, Siim Vahur, Aleks Märtson, Artproof, Elavad Pildid, Siim Soop, Kelli Gedvil.

The artist thanks: Karina Laurits, Maria Hansar, Leelo Laurits, Uku Laurits, Andreas Weber, Emanuele Coccia, Alari Allik, Mart Meri, Mika Keränen, Carla Giacinti, Gianni Macchia, Aleksander Metsamärt, Urmas Lüüs, Greete Põrk, Kristel Larin, Vaba Lava.

The exhibition is part of the art program of Biotoopia.
The exhibition is supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Valmiermuiža Pruulikoda.

“Sacred Baths”
Peeter Laurits
19/05/2022 — 02/07/2022
Vaal Gallery

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

Photography: Peeter Laurits