Know How

Exhibition  /  13 Nov 2009  -  21 Feb 2010
Published: 23.10.2009
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
DEADLINE: 30/03/2009

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Detailed program for the triennial and for the seminar at the 5th Tallinn applied art triennial. Registration deadline for the seminar 2nd November.
On 11 November in the Estonian Academy of Arts gallery, the lights will go down on a cultural forum that is unique in Europe – a series of exhibitions and international seminar that transcend geographic borders and encompass both applied art and design.

Know How will train a roving spotlight on the essence and purpose of applied art, as well as on the relationships between the artist/designer, professional skills and the consumer/audience. All of the exhibits come literally supplied with instructions – anyone can take a copy of the manual home with them and see for themselves how applied art is born and what it feels like to be a designer.

The triennial consists of three exhibitions, each with a curator: the main exhibition, Know How, based on an idea by Kärt Maran, which will be opened on 13 November at the Museum of Applied Art and Design. The Estonian Academy of Arts will host a satellite exhibition entitled “Estonian Academy of Arts Know How. Isn’t It So Simple?” (curated by Eeva Käsper and Tiina Sarapu). And the Kai Lobjakas-curated satellite exhibition “Practical Kunst ja Kodu” will open at the Hobusepea Gallery on 13 November, devoted to the memory of a legendary periodical born in the lean but fertile conditions of socialism.

Friday, 13 November will also be noteworthy for a prestigious seminar to be held in the main hall of the Puppet Theatre. Key speakers at the seminar include the main exhibition’s curator Kärt Maran, Tartu Art College teacher Erika Pedak (the idea of DIY, position of handicraft in the early 20th century and outlets), the German-Israeli designer Ronen Kadushin (innovative design concept focusing on the topic of creative liberty), the sociologist Margit Keller (the effect of things on people; consumerism and its potential transformation in the world), music producer Hannes Praks (problems of open-source design in a technologically developing world) and Tavs Jorgensen, a member of Autonomatic, a British group of applied artists and designers (use of new technologies).

The seminar continues on 2 December with a presentation by Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang in the Estonian Academy of Arts auditorium where she will discuss conceptualizations of the process of eating. Indeed, Vogelzang uses food to convey her design ideas and she has come up with a unique way to deal with eating from the vantage point of psychology, culture and design.

On 14 November, the artists selected at the triennial competition will present current and past work in the Academy of Arts auditorium. This year’s triennial received applications from 142 artists – a total of 176 works from 28 countries: Latvia, Finland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, France, Slovakia, Spain, Greece, Israel, Taiwan, Russia, the US, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Thailand, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Serbia and Estonia. The triennial jury chose works from 38 artists to appear in the main exhibition.

The main exhibition will run until 21 February 2010.

An open call for artists

Theme:Know How

Know How, the theme of the fifth Tallinn applied art triennial, will challenge participants to cast aside artist-, designer- and producer-centred approaches, to share their professional know-how, and to offer exhibition visitors an opportunity to (re-)create the items themselves.
The exhibition welcomes high-quality designs where the artist is behind the concept and form – but the actual production of the items makes a transition to the users.
Artists will be requested to submit to the exhibition a (sample) work as well as instructions on how to make it. Both will be put on display. The instructions should not merely be a description of how the work was created, but rather a manual for the exhibition visitor explaining how to re-create the object. Text and photographs can be used, as well as freehand and computer graphics, stencilling, and many other techniques. The exhibition will also have a website where virtual visitors will be able to download manuals. The exhibition catalogue will feature the sample works as well as instructions on how to make them.
Know How is statement: good design rests on a good idea. As such, the quality of work must be preserved even if concept and execution are separated from each other.Know How will allow ordinarily passive exhibition-goers to become participants in the design process.

Kärt Maran
exhibition curator