The Estonian Artists Film Club Society launches during Frieze Week

05. mai, 2014

ASpell Ben Rivers Ben Russell  The Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) is pleased to announce the launch of The Estonian Artists Film Club Society during Frieze Week New York 2014 in association with Artprojx Cinema.  Dedicated to showing works made by leading and emerging Estonian contemporary artists, as well as international artists’ films and features made in or supported by Estonia, the Film Club Society will be a touring virtual home for moving image based works.

The inaugural Film Club in New York on May 7th is being created in collaboration with Kate MacGarry Gallery, Galerie Martin Janda, and Temnikova & Kasela Gallery.  The program includes an hour-long selection of short films by Marko Mäetamm, Flo Kasearu, Jaan Toomik, and Ene-Liis Semper as well as a feature-length collaboration between artist-filmmakers Ben Rivers (UK) and Ben Russell (US).

Jaan Toomik and Ene-Liis Semper, two Estonian video artists who gained recognition in the 1990’s, are well-known internationally.  Among Toomik’s films shown from the mid 2000’s is “Seagulls,” which was made in collaboration with experimental musician Rainer Jancis.  The pursuit of interaction is a recurring theme in Toomik’s works, and in “Seagulls” he lays underwater in a pool and shouts through a plastic tube that extends above the surface of the water.  Jaan Toomik is currently finishing his feature-length film “Landscape with Many Moons” that will start its festival rounds later this year.

Ene-Liis Semper’s works deal with the deeper levels of an experience or their archetypical conditions.  Often the line between stage design and visual art has become blurred in Semper’s works, as her video “How I Recognize Home” can attest to.  Aside from being an artist with a solo career, her biggest collaborative endeavor for the last 10 years has been co-creating and co-directing the theater group NO99 in Tallinn, which has enjoyed quite remarkable success.

Marko Mäetamm’s multidisciplinary practice explores a world in and around his closest relationships.  His animations are simultaneously autobiographical and fictional, rich with dry humor and conscious oversharing.  Mäetamm enjoys the act of confessing and flirting with his own reality – a seemingly never-ending drama filled with his intimate worries and emotional tragedies.

Flo Kasearu is among the younger generation of Estonian video artists working with a clear sensibility towards social issues.  ”Basic Navigation for Chisinau” deals with spatial memory and private histories in the town of Chisinau in Moldavia, where some of the street names have been changed for political reasons up to five different times in one man’s lifetime.  The video was originally shown in Chisinau on the screens of city minibuses.  In 2013, the artist opened the Flo Kasearu House Museum in her private home in the Pelgulinna neighborhood of Tallinn.

“A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness” by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell follows an unnamed character through three seemingly disparate moments in his life.  With little explanation, we join him in the midst of a 15-person collective on a small Estonian island, in isolation in the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland, and during a concert where he is the singer and guitarist of a black metal band in Norway.  Starring musician Robert A. A. Lowe, “A Spell” has been called “an unapologetically arty triptych, marked by loneliness, ecstatic beauty, and an optimism of the darkest sort.”

DJ set by Prince Rama – this Brooklyn two-piece “now-age” psych-band consists of sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson.  Discovered by Animal Collective’s Avey Tare in a Texas dive bar in 2010, they signed to Paw Tracks shortly thereafter, and have since released Shadow Temple and Trust Now, which peaked at #3 and #6 on the Billboard New Age Charts, respectively.  Both sisters had a role in “A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness”.

London based Artprojx is an international platform to exhibit and promote artists’ moving image, often in the context of the cinema. It’s founder David Gryn has worked with many leading galleries, institutions and art fairs, including Art Basel in Miami Beach, The Armory Show, Frieze, Whitney Museum, Tate, ICA, Lisson Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, White Cube and Gagosian, showing moving image based works by William Eggleston, Christian Marclay, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Dara Birnbaum, Jesper Just, Rashaad Newsome and Mickalene Thomas among others.

The Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) is a nonprofit foundation focused both on fostering international exposure for Estonian artists and on developing the gallery scene in Estonia.  Functioning as an umbrella organization for Estonian partner institutions, the center is creating strategic international partnerships in the field of contemporary art.  ECADC is supported by Enterprise Estonia and its team members are based in New York and Tallinn, Estonia.