Artist: Katja Novitskova
Exhibition title: If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes. Stage 2.
Curated by: Kati Ilves
Venue: Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia
Date: February 23 – June 10, 2018
Photography: Tõnu Tunnel, Katja Novitskova / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kumu Art Museum
The exhibition takes the visitor into the world of living machines, patterns imprisoned in synthetic materials, and two-dimensional sculptures of genetically modified life forms, with the daring typical to the dystopian realm.
Katja Novitskova’s oeuvre is located at the crossroads of visual culture, digital technologies and speculative fiction: she is interested in how the rapidly developing planet is increasingly more dependent on various data flows, which intermediate, preserve and alter the environment that surrounds us in visual form. The display is an immersive environment interpreting and looking back at the current day from the future, where the world as we know it is no longer recognisable.
Originally from Tallinn, Katja Novitskova first became an artist in Berlin and Amsterdam. She is not only the most outstanding artist linked to the Post-Internet movement in Estonia, but also one of the key artists at its origins worldwide. Novitskova has earned a lot of international acclaim: she has had personal exhibitions in New York (2016) and Shanghai (2017), her works have been included in group exhibitions at the MoMA in New York (2015) and at the Lyon and Berlin Biennials (2015 and 2016). In 2017, the Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid recognised Novitskova by presenting her the Young Cultural Figure Award.
“If only you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes,” says the replicant Roy Batty to the maker of his eyes in the sci-fi film Blade Runner (1982) by Ridley Scott. Katja Novitskova and the curator Kati Ilves borrowed the quote for the title of the exhibition in the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017, referring to the complexity of seeing in the contemporary data maze. For the show in Kumu, the artist and the curator have progressed from the project that the Centre for Contemporary Arts Estonia produced for the Estonian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale by including a number of works that have not been presented before, plus some pieces created specifically for this exhibition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue in Estonian and English, which will be presented at Kumu on 5 April.
On 30 May at 6pm, a video performance of Katja Novitskova’s work by Piibe Kolka will take place in the Kumu auditorium as part of the Kumu Documentary series.