“Dear Friend” at EKA Gallery 15.–29.09.2022

Start Date:

End Date:

15–29 September 2022
Opening. 15.09 at 6 pm
EKA Gallery, Estonian Academy of Arts


Dear Friend,


We have been thinking about you and we are looking forward to meeting you at the Dear Friend exhibition from 15–29 September 2022 at EKA Gallery. We hope you have time to pass by! The gallery doors open on 15 September at 18:00. 


Since 2019 we have been writing, folding, publishing, sharing and posting the Dear Friend publication. There are four seasons of published letters. This Fall seemed like the right time to meet after a few years of correspondence. It is a chance to talk about publishing, writing, small publications, doing things together, and why not just about how we are doing. 


The exhibition features all the published Dear Friend letters. The letters are available for you to read, take home or mail to another friend. Next to the letters there are projects and publications by our penfriends. These are mostly publications that connect with the Dear Friend project contextually, formally, community-wise and beyond borders. 


There is also a public programme that includes presentations of periodical publications and books; from 20–23 September readings and recordings of letters, programme Tracks as envelopes by oH radio; 24 September Dear Friend symposium, a day full of presentations and discussions; 29 September Dear Friend letter writing workshop and more. 


A catalogue will be published alongside the exhibition, with contributions by Singapore-based design writer Justin Zhuang, designer and writer Else Lagerspetz, and artist Lieven Lahaye. It will include published letters and a selection of photos of the activities. The book launch will take place at the symposium on 24 September. 


16–29 September, EKA Gallery

16.09 17:00 artist Lieven Lahaye presents a new issue of Catalog

20.09–23.09 11:00–13:00 & 14:00–16:00 oH radio’s Tracks as envelopes, public readings of Dear Friend letters in the exhibition space. Come read one! 

22.09 18:00 presentation of Exercises in Practical Mischievery by Laura Pappa, Carlo Canun, Maki Suzuki

24.09 12:00–17:00 Dear Friend symposium and catalogue presentation. Come and join!

28.09 18:30 launch of the All Horses Are the Same Colour by EKA GD MA students 

29.09 18:00 Dear Friend letter writing workshop. Please join! 



24 September 12:00–18:00, EKA Gallery

Dear Friend symposium is a gathering where we explore practices and questions around experimental and self-publishing, mailing as a form of publishing, and design as writing through presentations and discussions. 

Symposium is held in English. 

12:00 Gathering

12:30 Presentation Undisclosed Relations, Henk Groenendijk 

Henk Groenendijk travels from Sofia, Bulgaria to open some boxes full of student publications, a selection of works from the Test Press exhibition, and copies of Test Press magazine. Henk will tell us about his library and collection of student publications and the links that are perhaps not visible. The connections are in the books, posters, and other paraphernalia. 

Heni Groenendijk is a collector, educator, and curator of Test Press Books. He worked as a professor at the Graphic Design Department of Gerrit Rietveld Academie and initiated the Rietveld & Sandberg Library Publications Archive. 

13:00 “A Lecture on Nothing: on the Legibility of Illegible Text”, Arja Karhumaa

What do typographic texts consist of? How does typography relate to language, image, and writing? How do you read illegible text? What is type beyond only form, as part of our coexistence and social environment? This performative talk has no answers to these questions but aims to stay with the trouble they make.

Arja Karhumaa is a text designer, a feral academic, and a language animal. She is Assistant Professor and Head of Programme in Visual Communication Design at Aalto University ARTS, Finland. 

13:30 open discussion

14:00–15:00 break/lunch

15:00 Presentation about de Appel’s publication The Remote Archivist, Nell Donkers

Nell Donkers, archivist of de Appel in Amsterdam will talk about The Remote Archivist, a recurring (one-page folded poster) publication from the Archive. There are four series of the publication that have been presented so far. The aim is to invite artists, thinkers, and readers to dive deeper into the archive and recalibrate the archive materials for their own practice. Bardhi Haliti is the designer of the project and of de Appel’s house style. 

Nell Donkers has managed the archive (library, archive, and collection) of De Appel in Amsterdam since 2002 and made it digitally accessible. 

15:30 Talk about Queer.Archive.Work and the resting reader, Paul Soulellis

Paul Soulellis’ talk will present his work at the nonprofit library, publishing studio, and residency Queer.Archive.Work in Providence, US with a focus on collectivity in the context of independent publishing. The resting reader is a book of texts and images assembled from source material found on the shelves of the Queer.Archive.Work library. The content was selected during the rise of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in December 2021, around the loose themes of rest, quiet, care, queer, sanctuary, reflection, collective, and generosity. 

Paul Soulellis is an artist and educator based in Providence, RI. His practice includes teaching, writing, and experimental publishing, with a focus on queer methodologies and network culture. 

16:00 open discussion

17:00 presentation of the Dear Friend catalogue, Ott Kagovere and Sandra Nuut

Ott Kagovere is a Tallinn-based graphic designer and the Head of the Department of Graphic Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts. 

Sandra Nuut is a curator at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Previously she worked at the Estonian Academy of Arts and New York-based gallery Chamber. 


Exhibition concept/curation: 

Ott Kagovere & Sandra Nuut

Exhibition design

Ulla Alla & Nika Gabiskiria

Letters by
Alicia Ajayi, Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey, Claudia Doms, Nell Donkers, Maarin Ektermann, Rosen Eveleigh, Maryam Fanni, Saara Hannus, Eik Hermann, Paul John, Maria Juur, Ott Kagovere, Maarja Kangro, Arja Karhumaa, Kristina Ketola Bore, Nicole Killian, Rachel Kinbar, Tuomas Kortteinen, Keiu Krikmann, Kadri Laas, Else Lagerspetz, Lieven Lahaye, James Langdon, Jungmyung Lee, Kai Lobjakas, Michelle Millar Fisher, Maria Muuk, Sheere Ng, Sandra Nuut, Laura Pappa, Jack Self, Indrek Sirkel, Paul Soulellis, Triin Tamm, Laura Toots, Alice Twemlow, Loore Viires, Sean Yendrys, Justin Zhuang

Letter visuals by 

Mai Bauvald, Pärtel Eelmere, Martina Gofman, Kersti Heile, Laura Merendi, Mikk Oja, Rex, Johanna Ruukholm, Robin Siimann

Thank you

Andres Alliksaar, Louis Biasin, Rita Davis, Pärtel Eelmere, Maarin Ektermann, Mark Foss, Triin Jerlei, Mette Mari Kaljas, Kaur Karu, Kertu Klementi, Else Lagerspetz, Rasmus Lukas, Laura Merendi, Anete Ots, Laura Pappa, Steven Pikas, Lola Maria Pärna, Emma Reim, Filipp Rotšenkov, Maret Sarapu, Georg Ander Sild, Indrek Sirkel, Mariliis Tarja, Ljubov Terukova, Taylor Tex Tehan, Laura Tursk, Pille-Riin Valk 


Detailed program: facebook.com/events/440404928139944/440701844776919

Dear Friend web archive: https://gd.artun.ee/dearfriend/ 


Supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Academy of Arts, European Regional Development Fund


See you soon!

Sandra & Ott

Photos: Katrin-Maria Terras
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Posted by Pire Sova

GalleryGraphic Design EKA Gallery