Britta Benno exhibition “Of Becoming a Land(Scape)”

Britta Benno. Devils PunchBowl
Tartu Kunstimaja

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Current solo exhibition “Of Becoming a Land(Scape)” serves as the third part of Britta Benno’s artistic research in the doctoral school at the Estonian Academy of Arts with the working title “Thinking in Layers, Imagining in Layers: Posthumanist Landscapes in the Extended Field of Drawing and Printmaking”.
Pre-reviewing of the exhibition will take place on 12.02.2022.

The protagonist in Benno’s last project in the series of personal exhibitions of the doctoral programme is landscape that formerly has appeared in a background role in Benno’s artwork. Image is becoming abstract and architecture is backing away from the stage. A layered landscape comes forth, the rocks in earth’s crust reveal themselves underneath the soil. At the same time, the crystallization of posthumanist philosophy in Britta Benno’s artistic (self)definition reveals itself through the agency of minerals. University of Tartu Natural History Museum with its collection of minerals is situated in the close proximity to Tartu Art House. Museum-like expositions, striped textures of fossils and conversations with geologists place the exhibition both to local time-space and the timeless spirit of art and science.

Tectonic layers are alive, moving and breathing, forming mountains and flooding continents. The layers arise from above while shaking and cracking holes and fissures to the earth’s crust. Similarly to the sunrise on the horizon, layers of gas and oil in the depths of earth emerge towards the surface and slowly transform the earth’s landscape. At the same time, somewhere another soil goes down in the depths of earth. In order to imagine the future, one has to look at the past to form a better understanding about the present.

Britta Benno comments on her artistic method: „While imagining the earth’s layers I am working with the means of art in layers. In a way, working in layers can be also called a method of piling up.  Materials, tracks and images cover each other just like the layers of Earth form a huge globe. How should one call the large-format artwork made of canvas, frame, coat, prints, watercolour, coal, acrylic paints, ink and plexiglass? Modelling paste, fabric and other (found) materials in combination with metamorphic rocks in litosphere, in the depths of earth, create new conceptual landscapes. Poetically flowing mountains can be also discovered while observing the heap of blanket on my bed, on a topographic map or in atlas of imaginary beings.”

Collaborational input to the exhibition works: Ragnar Neljandi (cameraman, animator, post-production), Kassandra Laur, Iti Oja, Kristiina Tali (installation), Juhan Vihterpal (composer).

The artist expresses her gratitude to: Laine Groeneweg (Smokestack Studio Hamilton), Pudy Tong (Open Studio Toronto),  Robert Zeigler (Cotton Factory Hamilton), Madis Kaasik (Prototyping Lab manager at the Estonian Academy of Arts), Mare Isakar, Juho Kirs (holder of geology collections at the University of Tartu, consultant), printmaking workshop of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Katrin Piile, Elnara Taidre.

Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Academy of Arts, Nukufilm OÜ.

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Posted by Irene Hütsi

Doctoral School Exhibitions