Shedding Skin at Vaal Galerii / Tallinn, Estonia

 Laura Põld & Piret Karro / Shedding Skin

27 August – 10 October 2020

Vaal Galerii

Tartu maantee 80l

10112 Tallinn


Photography by Hedi Jaansoo

The duo-exhibition Shedding Skin at Gallery Vaal brings together Laura Põld’s site-specific installations, drawings and ceramics and Piret Karro’s poetry, prose and photos in the format of a notebook series.

The title refers to changing, hardening, and the need for self-creation. The dialogue between Põld and Karro took place in the context of the movement restrictions established in the course of this year’s global events. Particular focus was set on the practical issues of living arrangements and cohabitation constellations as well as the survival strategies of cultural workers.

Shedding Skin focuses on the precarious life of cultural workers, and elaborates on how professional structures that provide temporary employment, education, stipends or residency positions also direct the nature of our intimate surroundings. With whom do we share our home spaces and morning coffee routines, and who bumps into us on our way to the bathroom? Often, this person is not our life partner, but a random housemate, one in the line of many. Institutional precarity creates the precarity of intimacy. One can experience their close relationships in a new place only temporarily, until they need to catch a new job opportunity in a new place. At the exhibition, this condition is elaborated on from the perspective of artists and cultural workers.

Piret Karro’s texts are straightforward and convey Eastern European realism. She uses assertive and poignant free verse to write about intimacy and violence and the relationships between body and space, locating herself en route between Tallinn–Berlin–Budapest.

Laura Põld uses metal structures, unfired clay slabs, pencil drawings and ceramic paintings to tentatively talk about things that can be associated with ritualistic space-creation practices and the urge to somehow systematize the surrounding chaos by observing simple objects around us.

The authors invite you to spend time in the space, browse the notebooks of Piret Karro and enter the installation of Laura Põld.

Piret Karro is a poet, semiotician and journalist, whose texts have departed from themes of gender and sexuality towards assigning meaning to precarious living conditions. She has studied semiotics at the University of Tartu and gender studies at the Central European University in Budapest. From 2015 to 2018, she worked as a cultural and environmental editor at Müürileht. She has published critical reviews, poetry and prose in various cultural publications both in Estonia and abroad.

Laura Põld is an artist whose recent creative work has focused on nature and the environment. Her most favoured medium and area of study is clay and soil and the natural behaviour of materials. Põld has studied ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts, painting at the University of Tartu, and sculptural conceptions and ceramics at the University of Art and Design Linz.

Graphic design: Helmi Arrak

The exhibition is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia.