Photo reportage from the exhibition 'The Caretaker' by Kristen Rästas at Hobusepea gallery

October 20, 2021
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Kristen Rästas’s personal exhibition The Caretaker opened in Hobusepea gallery on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Exhibition will be open until November 1st, 2021.

At his present exhibition, Kristen Rästas presents a VR artwork The Caretaker and sculptural landscapes which have been inspired by the visual forms of the main artwork. The fictional character, the Caretaker, has been named after its figurative position as the creator of the environment. The virtual, eternal landscape is something that the Caretaker tries to design according to the memories of the real world. The empirical journey tells about the desire to preserve and improve the surrounding, increasingly fragile and perceptible environments, while creating artificial visual out of the same environments. And sometimes, these may seem much more ideal and inviting than the real environment.

The monologue that is made of the Caretaker’s memories, is slightly nostalgic and related to the surrounding landscape. The repetitiousness of audio clips, motionlessness of the environment and the interactive flying ability of the artwork viewer create an uncanny medium as a primary emotion through recognition of natural environment. One cannot be quite sure whether the viewer has been put in the Caretaker’s role or has the viewer been taken to a virtual-archeological exposition in the memories of someone unknown that at the same time have the effect of a collective memory while depicting universal natural forms and textures. Through his artwork, Kristen Rästas presents his vision about creating completely new artificial environments and contemporary landscape image as well as the various ways to experience and interpret these environments.

In order to achieve the maximum experience, the interactive virtual artwork needs to be viewed with VR headset and the viewer has to use the remote control. There is a 3D-world that the viewer can discover while hauntingly flying around on his or her own. It is a free platform without a linear beginning and an end. Every viewer continues where the last viewer has left his or her experience.

Kristen Rästas (b. 1992) is an Estonian artist. He has graduated from the faculty of fine art at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2019 (MA degree in contemporary art). Rästas has taken additional courses in the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and in Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), School of Arts in Gent, Belgium. The artist has been participating in exhibitions since 2021 and he has held exhibitions in Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Iceland and Belgium. Rästas works as an interdisciplinary artist who involves painting, conceptualist art and various multimedia projects in his artwork. His recent artwork has studied virtual and artificial landscapes, digital errors and the general obscurity of being an artist. Kristen Rästas is one of the artists working under the pseudonym Robin Ellis Meta and co-founder of online gallery. The artist lives and works in Berlin and Tallinn.

Artist’s gratitude to: Kelli Gedvil, Kennet Lekko, Simon Dalzell, Ian-Simon Märjama.
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Exhibition by Kristen Rästas
Title: The Caretaker
Open: 14.10.21-01.11.21
Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2, Tallinn.
Wed-Mon 11.00-18.00