Archives in Translation
Biennial of Dissent ‘77
Esti Kunstimuuseum, Talin, EST | 14 September -11 November 2007
The exhibition "Biennial of Dissent ‘77" is an offspring of the
festival held in Venice thirty years ago, dedicated to the cultural
dissidence in Eastern Europe – conferences and seminars plus a number
of concerts, exhibitions and film sessions were held to determine the
position of dissidents in the Eastern Block countries in those days.
The informal socialist culture was attempted to be mapped with archival
ardency; it was "interpreted" via the West, via the information, people
and works that had reached the West, into a "language" understandable
in the West. 1977 was the year when the topics of dissidence and human
rights were in zenith on the East-West axis due to the Helsinki
treaties; at the same time the approach to these problems was
politically extremely predetermined from both sides. From the very
first days, the Venice Culture Festival became a problem for both –
foreign and domestic policy force-fields. Today, from the aspect of
understanding the topic, those tensions are as fascinating as the
Like all terms "refined" by the propaganda, the
word "dissent" is also ambiguous. It is obviously a set of phenomena
that has not stayed in the Cold War era but is meaningful even today.
The topics once discussed in Venice are raised now at Kumu’s archive
exhibition in a random way, primarily by means of a series of seminars.
The exhibition also includes a reading corner providing an insight into
the era/topic plus a number of film sessions.
Translation" is an experimental research project of Kumu Art Museum
made up of four exhibitions held from autumn 2007 to autumn 2008 and
attempting to provide a fresh outlook on some historically fixed dogmas
and mental burdens. The purpose of this project is to examine the
artistic and political translations made through the Iron Curtain. For
this reason, our main objects of interest are not the excellent
close-to-the original translations and loans in the form of certain
concepts or works of art, but rather the echoes – the parallels and
translation mistakes emanating from similar values, meanings or imagery
– the information lost in translation and therefore having obtained a
new contents. The objects pinpointed at this exhibition: particular
archives, past events as phenomena allowing different interpretations
and experiences, possible translation mistakes,
suppressions/amplifications in the East and West – all this
constituting an interesting contemporary phenomenon.
The curator of the exhibition "Biennial of Dissent ‘77" is Maria-Kristiina Soomre, the exhibition is designed by Anton Koovit.
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