25. 7. – 13. 9. 2018
Flo Kasearu [EST] BASIC PRIDE
Flo Kasearu (1985) is an Estonian visual artist living currently in Tallinn. She studied painting and photography at the local art academy and obtained a study fellowship at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, where she studied under the guidance of Rebecca Horn during her stay.
There are several topics that the artist deals with in her work: national identity, issues of tradition and home, the current political and economic situation, or the position of an artist in our society. Although the questions are often asked locally, they are applicable universally to the whole society. In her work, she uses a variety of media such as video, object or installation, drawing, performances with participatory elements, or hidden interventions within the public space. In her work we can find a certain amount of irony, sarcasm, but also sense of humour, intertwined with a certain form of game.
In this art-work as well as by her attitude Flo Kasearu reflects the contemporary exhibition crisis and the overall situation in the Estonian capital. Flo Kasearu is not only a visual artist, but also a director of her own museum, which is called Flo Kasearu House Museum (in her house). At the same time, her museum uncovers the principle of artists’ work since the 1960s, the motto “the personal is political and the personal is public”.
Flo Kasearu thus demonstrates this principle directly in her artistic practice for the exhibition at the Klubovna Gallery. Drawings and objects represent sprouting potatoes as a symbol of Estonian nationality. Estonia used to “proudly” bear the nickname “Potato Republic” during the Soviet occupation, when it was one of the leading countries of their production. Potato represents the metaphor of an individual here – how we can different and how we are alike at the same time. Individual sprouts then substitute the behaviour of an individual to themself or to others.
We can see mutual unity or support, or, on the contrary, referring to diversity, the thorn in the side as to the current migration crisis. Through these drawings, the author examines specific viewpoints that reveal the social levels of human relationships. This series, on a small scale, points to the positive aspect of dissimilarity, which, on the contrary, may contribute in a certain way to the whole. It then refers to the video (de)fence.
Potato is not just a symbol of Estonia. We can also perceive it as an equivalent to the Czech Republic. Similarities that we can look for not only in the presence of potatoes in the Czech cuisine, but also from the historical point of view regarding the so-called potato war during the reign of Maria Theresa or the contemporary view of the crop crisis which is currently moving towards Poland. We face the question of our national identity, as well as the current gloomy mood that prevails within our political debate. What is that basic pride then?
Curator: Tereza Záchová
Interview with the author:
The project is financially supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture, The City of Brno and Frame Finland. With media support from Scandinavian House.