The exhibition Look at Me! Listen to Me! introduces vibrant, powerful and touching artworks of Russian-speaking female artists who live in Estonia.
Even though the ten artists included in this exhibition have very different upbringings, artistic approaches and career paths, they all have three things in common: they are women, have careers in Estonia and speak Russian as one of their main languages.
The artists’ own experiences and research studies of the last twenty years prove that ethnic segregation in the Estonian labour market is still strongly evident. Combined with gender stereotypes that still permeate our society and the economic instability of creative careers, this situation pushes Russian-speaking female artists at least a few, and sometimes quite many, steps backwards compared to other authors.
Underappreciated and seldom exhibited in professional spaces, their art often gets stereotyped as “low quality”, “tacky / cheap” or “not worth much attention”. Those rare exceptional artists who have started bright careers in the Estonian contemporary art scene end up being anomalies rather than the spearhead of a growing number of developing careers.
What does a Russian-speaking female artist, living in Estonia, think about? What worries her? These artists have very different approaches, thoughts and attitudes, and their art is diverse, vibrant, powerful and touching. So there are thousands of sad, burning, witty, funny, deep and unexpected answers to these questions.
Artists: Olga Jürgenson, Maria Kapajeva, Natalja Kapajeva, Olesja Katšanovskaja-Münd, Zoja Lebedeva, Tanja Muravskaja, OSA collective, Darja Popolitova and Julia Valtanen
Curator: Julia Polujanenkova
Coordinator: Kristlyn Liier
Graphic design and exhibition design: Tnxalatte
Exhibition team: Indrek Aavik, Richard Adang, Nele Ambos, Maarika Espenberg, Indrek Grigor, Joanna Hoffmann, Mare Joonsalu, Margus Joonsalu, Viktor Kiss, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Katrin Lõoke, Tõru-Tõnn Parts, Kristel Sibul, Anti Saar, Peeter Talvistu and Ago Teedema
Photos: Paul Kuimet