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07 Sep 2010

ART IST KUKU NU UT - Festival of Contemporary Art in Estonia

ART IST KUKU NU UT Festival of Contemporary Art 2010

ART IST KUKU NU UT Festival of Contemporary Art
08.09.-- 02.10.2010
NGO Tartu Üliõpilasmaja, Y-Gallery


September 8th at 7 p.m. opening of the festival and the exhibition 'Annex 6. The Policy of the Invisible Hand' in Y-gallery. September 8th at 3 p.m – Opening of the exhibition 'Choose Vitamine!' September 8th at 8 p.m Athena Cinema, Phil Collins's video 'dünya dinlemiyor' (2005) October 2nd at 1 p.m –'International Conference, Scientific Conference 2010'

Kaisa Eiche

Küütri str 2
51007, Tartu

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ART IST KUKU NU UT is a new contemporary art festival that starts right now in the city of Tartu, Estonia. Never heard about this place? Tartu is a tiny wooden town in the ultimate end of Eastern Europe. With its 100 000 inhabitants and the oldest university in Estonia the city is 188 km far from Tallinn, the Capital of Republic and suffering from the "second city" complex. Still no idea? Perhaps you have heard of semiotics and Yuri Lotman? Yes, this is the place and semiotics is the trendiest course to attend in University of Tartu. It's not fashionable to be fashionable in Tartu. "Visual art still deals with the problems of impressionism here," to quote the institutional critique by the local artists.
In an environment with such background we – as organizers of the festival of contemporary art – are interested in carrying out an experiment: would it be possible to synchronize the activities of such a peripheral and soporific town with the international contemporary art scene, to mark it on the big picture? What kind of impact would the processes about to be launched have on the environment and the people? How to finally wake up?
ART IST KUKU NU UT of 2010 is dedicated to the preparatory process for the future festivals – we map the dreams and desires of the local professionals, measuring the readiness of the politicians and institutions to host a major contemporary art event in this small town in Eastern Europe. ART IST KUKU NU UT 2010 festival's main organizers are Kaisa Eiche and Rael Artel.
Stay tuned!


"ART IST KUKU NU UT. Subjective Study on the Contemporary Art Scene in Tartu, and Annexes" is a critical study carried out for the festival among local cultural producers, festival organizers and artists in order to use their interviews and thoughts to map Tartu's potential as an (attractive) environment for artists, to measure the readiness of the local cultural workers and institutions for cooperation and international interaction. The publication includes a catalogue for the exhibition "Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand".
Compiled by Rael Artel and Kaisa Eiche.

"Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand"

Participating artists: Milijana Babić (Rijeka), Phil Collins (Berlin/Glasgow), Johnson & Johnson (Tallinn), Flo Kasearu (Tallinn), OÜ Visible Solutions (Tallinn), R.E.P. group (Kiev), Pilvi Takala (Amsterdam/Helsinki), Sener Özmen & Erkan Özgen (Istanbul) and Katarina Zdjelar (Belgrade/Rotterdam).

Curator: Rael Artel

The exhibition "Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand" is a contributing part of this year's ART IST KUKU NU UT festival that in itself is a preparation and run-up to next year's festival. The subjective study of the contemporary art scene in Tartu, a publication accompanying the project, maps the positions and movements, visions and structures in Tartu as a certain point in time and space. However, the exhibition that forms an annex to this study has a somewhat broader relationship with the topic. The goal is to review and analyze the socio-economic situation that is the inevitable background system for a contemporary cultural production. The work that paves the way for new nuggets of knowledge and cognitive nuances has been performed with the means offered by contemporary art and the study group is composed of a selection of artists who are active in Europe and treat the surrounding environment with a sharp eye. Main working methods include (self-)ironic distancing, demonstrative gestures and ambivalent images of comparison from life itself. 
This exhibition "Annex 6. The Politics of the Invisible Hand" has no strict center or a certain leading narrative, it should rather be seen as the subjective selection of the various activity logics of "the invisible hand" and our responses to those movements. One must remember that "the invisible hand" that Adam Smith phrased and that became a metaphor for self-regulation in economics is indeed invisible, i.e. we do not see the hand, but rather the result of its action. True, in one case the artists managed to capture the hand on thermal camera, but there is still much unexplained in the hand's micro-movements. It directs, regulates and forces us to act in the ways it want. We are surrounded by the puppet theater of an invisible hand…    

All works are penetrated by the parallel, crossing and penetrating topics that we can only start to articulate in keywords. The first topical direction is formed by works that reflect back specifically on the position of art and the artist, reflecting on the creative environment around them – they ridicule the principles of creative economy that the national cultural policy has adapted for them; make (self-)ironical remarks on the social position, survival means, working methods and "client relations"of the artist; visualize the problems of intellectual work. Doesn't it sound ridiculous, this direct, automatic and careless transfer of economic principles to the field of art and cultural production? Do we not talk too often about a mission instead of real income? Is being an artist more a matter of faith than anything else?    
Another topical keyword might be the wanna-be mentality as a completely respectable road to a professional position, income, peace of mind. Artists depict – and perhaps secretly also ridicule – the attempts by themselves and other to be better than others, to be someone else, to imitate success and that winning mentality, to hide one's weaknesses, and to talk loudly of great successes. This portion of the works seems to outline this mental space that is filled with dominating values and is shaped by the media, employers, politicians and the entertainment industry. The locally grown neoliberal karaoke-capitalism, the foolish optimism that for years fed the economic boom, the faith in the infinite economic growth and the free market - aren't these the compensation mechanisms for various inferiority complexes that might require us to stop and look around with a (self-)critical eye?     

One of the popular understandings of art considers art to be a mirror that should reflect life and reality around us. We wish to satisfy the desires of the greater masses and show our audiences a mirror – in this exhibition there are no myths, only reality itself! While the distortions might be great and the exhibition might seem like a carnival mirror, I feel confident in assuring that life in Tartu, Estonia and the former Eastern Europe really is that distorted and misshapen like a delirious nightmare. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

During the opening of the exhibition on Sept 8h, at 7 pm, a performance-product presentation by Visible Solutions LLC, and at 8 pm a screening of the "dünya dinlemiyor" ("the world won't listen") by Phil Collins will take place.

Küütri 2, Tartu, Estonia
Opening hours: Tu–Fr 11 am–6 pm, Sa 12 am–4 pm
Free entrance

"Choose Vitamine!"
Tartu young artists' exhibition-auction

Participating artists: Chungin, Miss Katrin, Frindo Kveiks, Liis Koger, Kristina Viin, Martiini, Barthol Lo Mejor, Aleksander Sirkel, Kairo Lõvilõug, Helmi Langsepp, Lauri Kulpsoo.

Curator: Kiwa

Tartu Centre for Creative Industries
Kalevi 13, Tartu
Opening hours Mo-Fr 11 am – 6 pm
Free entrance


"International Conference, Scientific Conference 2010"

University of Tartu Library Conference Centre

Open call for Papers:

Dear Colleagues,
We are honored to avow that the third "International Conference, Scientific Conference" will take place on Oct 2 2010.
As is generally known, the format of "International Conference, Scientific Conference" is unique in the world. The hallmark of the conference is future-oriented (wishful) thinking that systematically demolishes the structure of reality in the following way:
A presentation at the conference must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:
1. Situate (definitively) on the border of science and art.
2. Process science and/or scientific presentation so that it exits the bounds of science and/or consciousness.
3. Present the most extraordinary theories, experiments or ideas that scientists do/can not present in the ordinary format and customary channels.
4. (Performance) art in the format of scientific presentation.
Hereby we announce the call for abstracts for "International Conference, Scientific Conference 2010". Selected abstracts will be presented at the conference and published in the conference proceedings (to be distributed free of charge to the presenters). The submissions and talks will be in Estonian and English, which are the official languages of the conference. The conference will be documented in the proceedings, in video, photo and (possibly) newsmedia. Travel expenses of the presenters to and from Tartu will be covered.

The deadline for submitting the abstracts is Sept 19 2010. 

Erkki Luuk, Toomas Thetloff 

University of Tartu Library Conference Centre
W. Struve 1
Free entrance

Wish us luck!

Kaisa Eiche
Rael Artel
ART IST KUKU NU UT Festival of Contemporary Art    
Küütri 2, Tartu 51 007, Estonia
+ 372 737 60 36