Shedding Skin

Gallery Vaal, Tallinn, Estonia
August 27 – October 10, 2020

The exhibition Shedding Skin at Gallery Vaal juxtaposes Laura Põld’s site-specific installation and Piret Karro’s texts. 

The title Shedding Skin refers to changing, hardening, and the need for self-creation. The dialogue between Põld and Karro took place in the context of the movement restrictions established in the course of this year’s global events. Particular focus was set on the practical issues of living arrangements and cohabitation constellations as well as the survival strategies of cultural workers.

Shedding Skin focuses on the precarious life of cultural workers, and elaborates on how professional structures that provide temporary employment, education, stipends or residency positions also direct the nature of our intimate surroundings. With whom do we share our home spaces and morning coffee routines, and who bumps into us on our way to the bathroom? Often, this person is not our life partner, but a random housemate, one in the line of many. Institutional precarity creates the precarity of intimacy. One can experience their close relationships in a new place only temporarily, until they need to catch a new job opportunity in a new place. At the exhibition, this condition is elaborated on from the perspective of artists and cultural workers.

Piret Karro’s texts are straightforward and convey Eastern European realism. She uses assertive and poignant free verse to write about intimacy and violence and the relationships between body and space, locating herself en route between Tallinn–Berlin–Budapest.

Laura Põld uses metal structures, unfired clay slabs, pencil drawings and ceramic paintings to tentatively talk about things that can be associated with ritualistic space-creation practices and the urge to somehow systematise the surrounding chaos by observing simple objects around us.

Photos by Hedi Jaansoo