From October 8 to November 20, 2011 – Tallinn Art Hall Foundation

The exhibition is a part of the project Re:Searching the Baltics, aimed at reviewing photography used by Baltic artists born in the 1970–80s. Grown up in the shift of two eras, this generation still has vivid memories from the early Soviet childhood, mixed with the experience from the teen years in rapidly changing Post-Soviet environment. The experience of this local fin de siècle gave the generation a specific commonness, clearly separating them from earlier and later, entirely Post-Soviet, generations.

The late 1980s was also the time when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania stronger identified themselves as the Baltics. The three countries that had no common history neither identity before the beginning of the 20th century engaged into common political movements. The Baltics had to generate their identity as a place, since before they were mere a part of the Soviet Union for the rest of the world.

The project aims at asking what it means to be a generation related by the particular place. Does the place generate us, or do we generate our place? Does the geopolitical unity of the region implicate commonalities in the art as well? What is the common memory of generation and how does it show in its imagery? What kind of common experiences, real or fictive, could we trace in works of one artists’ generation?

The exhibition has several interconnected thematic layers: the status of documentary as a genre, photographic thinking about time and place, looking for specific qualities of the local, common features of the generation and its specific way of using still and moving photography in contemporary art.

At the same time there is a need for contextualisation of different photographic practices in the Baltics. All the participating artists have shown their works in the West but never came together at exhibition to tell a sited narrative. Images at the exhibition let one experience the local fiction stories as well as the imprints of the memory.

In the end of 2011, the project is going to sum up with a publication representing more extensive research including texts and images.

Tallinn Month of Photography is a festival of lens-based art organized by Union of Photography Artists in Estonia. The main program of the Month of Photography will take place in October 2011 and consists of exhibitions and events that seek to thematize the possibilities, limits and spatial relations of lens-based art. Tallinn Month of Photography is part of the program of Tallinn European Capital of Culture 2011

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