Photograph: Taavi Suisalu. “Touch of the Network”. Video and installation. 2019
From 1 February the exhibition “Ocean Botlights” by Taavi Suisalu will be open at the Tallinn City Gallery. Suisalu, who tackles the relationship between people and technology, here explores light – simultaneously a giver of life and a conveyer of information, spreading out in a web of rays the breadth of a hair at the bottom of the oceans, where no other light can reach. The exhibition is curated by Siim Preiman.
The exhibition will open on Thursday, 31 January at 6pm and will remain open until 31 March.
Taavi Suisalu (b. 1982) is an artist, who seems to be constantly flickering between different times, simultaneously looking into the ancient past and the future just out of reach. It seems that this tension between eras is an activating force in his work. At the exhibition “Ocean Botlights”, light is what brings together the ancient and the modern, simultaneously one of the prerequisites for life on Earth as well as the conveyer of information along the super-fast fibre optic cables that cover the world like a spider’s web.
“Light is not just a condition necessary for life, but the infrastructure of our information society also relies on it – the internet relies in large part on the relay of information in the form of light along fibre optic cables. Along with productivity, cheapness and user-friendliness, the internet has helped the mass growth of information and communication technology (ICT) in society. As a result, almost all important products and services in first-world countries depend on ICTs,” Oliver Laas writes in the accompanying booklet.
The installations on show at the exhibition bring together the characteristics of light both ancient and new. Suisalu seems to be trying to capture continuity in his work and is searching for something with a longer perspective. “Although how people behave and think acclimatises to new technologies quickly, the changes in sensations, physiology and mentality are more long-term,” he writes in the accompanying text. It seems that Suisalu is striving towards such a level of standardisation that would allow us to overcome the seemingly accelerating and unstoppable fervour for technological development.
Taavi Suisalu activates peripheral areas using technology, sound and performance based art as tools for an intriguing coming together. His work is inspired by the way contemporary society relates to technology and its influence on how a social being behaves, senses and thinks. In his work, he also connects cultural phenomena with contemporary cultural practices and approaches that are more traditional. His recent solo-exhibitions include “Landscapes and Portraits” (Hobusepea Gallery, 2017) and “I Am NOT Sitting in a Room” (Draakoni Gallery, 2015).
We would like to thank: Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Artists’ Association, Veinisõber, AkzoNobel, WRO Art Center, EMAP / EMARE, Creative Europe, Tartu Valgus, KOOR Wood, Kadri Toom, Indrek Tali, Mihkel Säre, Tõnu Narro, John Grzinich
Tallinn City Gallery (Harju 13) is open Wednesday till Sunday 12–7pm. Entrance is free.