Presentation of Paul Kuimet’s book “Crystal Grid”

Paul Kuimet, Crystal Grid 34 (Rome-Tallinn), photocollage, C-print on aluminium composite, epoxy resin, each 47.5 × 47.5 cm (2023)
Draakoni galerii, Tallinn, Pikk 18

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“How to give structure to something that itself is lacking one? How to present something like that? This is a question of visibility and making visible. What are the means for making visible something that always remains invisible? More precisely: the thing that remains invisible in real life, but of which we can get a glimpse in Crystal Grid, is the structure of capitalism. But how to display something like that?”

Neeme Lopp Paul Kuimet’s Analytical Photography
Essay from artist’s book Crystal Grid (Lugemik, 2023)

The exhibition features 25 new works from the Crystal Grid series. The series, commenced in 2020, consists of collages composed of photos taken in palm houses of various botanical gardens around the world. The collages are arranged in sets of two, three or four, juxtaposing plant fragments, which in reality are located hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart.

For the collages, a pattern is used, derived from the structure of the ceiling of the central transept of the Crystal Palace, erected for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. For each work, a new pattern is designed within the existing framework, based on the internal composition of each photo – part of the image is cut according to the pattern, and part is left uncut.


Public programme:

23.11, Draakoni Gallery and Kanuti Gildi SAAL

18.00 Guided tour with the artist (in English) and book launch (in Estonian)

Please join us for the launch of Crystal Grid – a new artists’ book by Paul Kuimet – on Thursday, November 23 at 6 pm. The event will begin at Draakoni Gallery with a guided tour by the artist. The tour will be held in English. After the tour the book launch will take place at Kanuti Gildi SAAL. At the launch the artist will be in conversation with the art critic Hanno Soans. Discussion is held in Estonian. During the launch the publication will be sold at a special price of 20 euros. On the evening of the launch Paul Kuimet’s exhibition at Draakoni Gallery will be open until 8 pm.

Paul Kuimet’s new book presents two series by the artist – “Crystal Grid” (2020–2023) and an ensuing series of assemblages “What It Is to Be What You Are Not” (2022).

The works are connected by a set of geometric shapes from a grid that is based on the roof structure of the central transept of the Crystal Palace, erected for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. While the photographic material of the “Crystal Grid” collages has been photographed in different botanical gardens around the world, the assemblages of the “What It Is to Be What You Are Not” series use images exposed to light-sensitive paper in the darkness of a photo lab together with leaves collected in the Tallinn Botanic Garden. Juxtaposed, the works raise different questions about the notions of place, form and representation in photography.

The book includes an essay by Neeme Lopp and was designed by Indrek Sirkel. The book is published by Lugemik and supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Paul Kuimet (1984) is an artist who works with photography, 16 mm film, and installation comprising of these media. Although his work is often described by a technological way of seeing, his practice places emphasis on the movement and presence of the beholder in the exhibition space. Since 2013, his work has been interested in modernist forms. In his latest works he has concentrated not so much on the forms of modernism, but on its materials, such as steel and glass, and their relationship to the development of modern capitalism since the mid-nineteenth century. He received an MA degree from the Estonian Academy of Arts (2014). In 2018, he participated in residency programmes at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, and at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York City. Since 2022, Kuimet is the Associate Professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Department of Photography.

Draakoni Gallery (Pikk 18, Tallinn)
Open: Mon–Fri 11.00–18.00, Sat 11.00–17.00
Opening 1.11.2023 at 18.00
Free entrance
Limited wheelchair accessibility

Exhibition “Crystal Grid”

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Posted by Andres Lõo

Photography Exhibitions