Liina Siib's work pays acute attention to the minor narratives concealed in the shadows of our tense economic situation and accelerated way of life. Bringing together new and old works, this exhibition mediates intergenerational conversations between individual lives and complex, gendered histories of privilege and power.
Siib's most recent work explores the ongoing regional economic migration through the eyes of Estonian women working in Finland. This contemporary polyphony of personal stories, desires and realities is reflected in the new installation Urban Symphony in E-minor III. The video and installation Augusta or Politics of Paradise focuses on the tragic fate of one woman in the local historical context. Both works featured in this exhibition continue Siibs lengthy artistic investigations into the entangled political and habitual claims to space, voice and meaning.
With her attentive photographers gaze combined with playful storytelling, Siib produces witty and seductive yet sharp counter narratives, which encourage us to recognise our own prejudices as well as the dreams mirrored in them, albeit slightly askew. Her works produced during the past three decades also reveal how the different presentation of recurring problems becomes a valuable capital. Shifts in artistic approaches, methods and materials resonate with changes in society and visual culture that does not follow the ideal of linear progress but rather loops and leaps about, says curator Taru Elfving.
In addition to new works, many earlier pieces are also being exhibited. For example, Siib's restored installation Alienus, which was exhibited at Biotopia, the third annual exhibition of the Soros Center of Contemporary Arts, Estonia at Tallinn Art Hall
in 1995. Also on display are a selection of photographs from the series A Woman Takes Little Space, with which Siib represented Estonia at the Venice Biennial in 2011.
Liina Siib is known for her photography, video and installation works based on extensive research, archive material, interviews and collaborations. Recent exhibitions include Riga Biennial 2018 and Galleria Sinne, Helsinki.
Taru Elfving is a curator and writer based in Helsinki. Her practice focuses on nurturing site-sensitive and transdisciplinary artistic practices at the intersections of feminist and ecological enquiries. Her curatorial projects include Hours, Years, Aeons (Finnish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015), Frontiers in Retreat (HIAP 20132018), Contemporary Art Archipelago CAA (Turku 2011, European Capital of Culture), and Towards a Future Present (Lofoten International Art Festival 2008).