Do I Know What It Is, From Which None Can Escape / Crystal Grid
Marge Monko / Paul Kuimet

COSAR gallery presents two solo exhibitions simultaneously: ‘Do I Know What It Is, From Which None Can Escape’ by Marge Monko and ‘Crystal Grid’ by Paul Kuimet.

Exhibition Do I Know What It Is, From Which None Can Escape / Crystal Grid
Artists Marge Monko / Paul Kuimet
Date 17.05.2024 - 05.07.2024
Venue COSAR gallery
Installation images Paul Kuimet

‘Do I Know What It Is, From Which None Can Escape’ by Marge Monko brings together a series of photographs depicting lost gloves on the streets of Tallinn, and the found photos of human hands.

The so-called ‘gloves’ season’ in Estonia lasts relatively long, from October to April. Especially towards spring, one can notice many lost gloves on, which lie on the ground, or are placed in a visible position by passersby.

Gloves are immediately connected to hands, protecting them from cold or dirt, and there’s a trace of human touch in the gloves. A single glove on the street signifies loss but also care, especially when observing the creative and sometimes humorous ways that passersby have displayed them so the owners can find them again. The photos of gloves and vintage images of hands are a kind of interplay of the notions of lost and found, and of precarity and care.

The title of the work is a quote from the Estonian writer Viivi Luik, whose poems often deal with the changing seasons and the human psyche.

‘Crystal Grid’ is a series of photo collages by Paul Kuimet that combines fragments of plants photographed in various botanical gardens around the world on a single surface. The collage pattern of each work is a variation of a grid based on the roof structure of the central transept of the Crystal Palace, which was built for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

The analogue production process of the work simultaneously emphasizes and obscures the indexical relationship of the photograph to the places where the photographs were taken. The collages are presented in sets of two, three or four, all of which contain fragments of each other that have been scrambled by the grid. The titles indicate the locations of the photographs.

These works are juxtaposed with ‘What It Is to Be What You Are Not’ – a series of assemblages composed of luminograms with an added layer of dried plant leaves on top. The composition of the works uses geometric forms abstracted from the ‘Crystal Grid’ series. In the coexistence of the luminogram and dried plants a fascinating mirror image appears. Essentially, live plants feed on light via the photosynthesis that is mainly carried out by the leaves. A dried leaf no longer feeds on light, whereas in the case of luminograms, it is the surface of the image that essentially feeds on it.

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