EXHIBITION: Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, August 25, 2017–January 28, 2018
The exhibition looks at travel in a region where freedom to travel was, until recently, a luxury available only to the very few. The revolution of 1989 and the subsequent opening to the world and globalisation processes allowed citizens of the former Eastern Bloc personal mobility on an unprecedented scale. The region’s new, postsocialist identity was dictated by the participation in international exchanges as much as by the new political and economic order.
The Travellers showcases the enriching value of travel and simultaneously problematizes the tensions that inevitably arise between the poetics of the travelling experience and the political situations that condition it. The exhibition presents mobility as the ultimate condition of today just as the forced immobility was the defining force for the previous generations of Eastern European citizens – thus offering a reflection on the character of contemporary postsocialist identities, formed at the intersection between the two.
Twenty-four contemporary artists hailing from fifteen countries of the former Soviet Bloc and former Yugoslavia show how people, goods, and ideas flow between this part of Europe and other regions of the world. They tell the stories of holiday trips as well as distant journeys and migrations; stories of the closed borders during the divided Cold War-era Europe as well as of the capitalism-driven acceleration of the 21st century. Travellers and migrants themselves, they share their personal experiences of moving between various languages and cultural contexts – the multiplicity of viewpoints particularly needed in the time of heightened nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiments in Europe today.
Exhibition guide for free download (in Estonian and English): https://kunstimuuseum.ekm.ee/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/buklet_Randurid.pdf
BOOK: Magdalena Moskalewicz, ed., The Travellers: Voyage And Migration in New Art From Central And Eastern Europe. Tallinn: Lugemik, 2017.
With contributions by 24 contemporary artists hailing from the countries of the former Eastern Europe, The Travellers looks into the experience of the generation whose identity has been formed between the two extreme conditions: the restricted mobility of the region’s past and the accelerated mobility of today. The book includes newly commissioned texts from the artists, who share their personal experiences as travellers and migrants, as well as an essay about mobility, nationalism and the postsocialist condition, authored by the book’s editor.
The Travellers accompanies an exhibition of the same title (Zachęta—National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2016; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, 2017/18) and the book contains an overview of all artworks presented in the show.
Texts by: Adéla Babanová, Daniel Baker, Olga Chernysheva, Wojciech Gilewicz, Pravdoliub Ivanov, C.T. Jasper & Joanna Malinowska, Flo Kasearu, Karel Koplimets, Porter McCray, Magdalena Moskalewicz, Alban Muja, Ilona Németh, Roman Ondak, Tímea Anita Oravecz, Adrian Paci, Vesna Pavlović, Dushko Petrovich, Radek Szlaga & Honza Zamojski, Maja Vukoje, Sislej Xhafa
Design by Stuudio Stuudio. 110 × 160 mm, 176 pages, softcover. ISBN 978-9949-9934-2-0