“Luha st 7, Luha st 9, Luha st 11, Pae st 4, Pae st 10, Pae st 8, Pae st 11, Põhja st 10, Vasara st 8, Vasara st 6, Vasara st 4, Vasara st “
During the soviet era in Estonia a basic house type became a 5-storied apartment building with 4 staircases. The quality of these buildings is quite poor, here and there signs of decay can be seen. Now it is possible to renovate these buildings and the most common is insulation of facades to improve energy efficiency of the houses. They are covered with polystyrene and this has made it possible to give a fresher appearance to the buildings. The houses that used to look exactly like each other are being personalized; people who live in these buildings have an opportunity to pick out the color scheme they prefer. What is interesting is the side of these buildings which have no windows, they are just large flat surfaces, and they are given all kinds of patterns.
What I did is I took all the renewed buildings in my home town Keila, took a picture of their sides and cropped out the background leaving only the pattern, now out of context. What I found interesting in this case was that when I showed these to the local people, they did not recognize what these are. They were believed to be simply abstract paintings.
I arranged them in a form where they are all connected, referring to the quilt tradition where different people make a different patch and they are combined to create one piece. This is something that is happening in the city as well, different people in the buildings decide upon how their buildings side is decorated and in combination they make up a joined impression of the town.
By converting these decorations into a quilt a public space has been transformed into a personal one. Quilts are often used to decorate our homes; they are hung up against a wall in a room. Decorative tapestry was used to insulate rooms, and make them more comfortable. Maybe this old tradition is the reason insulated buildings now are given a pattern, to make the space they are in more comfortable.
“E110- Sunset Yellow”
The last time I was ill I had to take antibiotics (it was called Nolicin). When I opened the package instead of the usual white pills there were orange. Apparently the food additive used in this case was E 110, which is also called Sunset Yellow.
That made me think of a cliché movie ending where the main character rides into the sunset as a representation of a happy ending. The same thing is telling me the pill. Every time I take one I get closer to my happy ending or should I be happy while taking it, how much is our well-being connected to the consumption of drugs?
So what I would like to do is to create the same kind of a round orange pill only It should be 2, 5 m in diameter. When looking at it from a distance it would seem like a orange disk mimicking the setting sun (just as the edge touches the horizon), so you'd get the feeling of walking towards a sunset, but in closer inspection it would be the furrow in the middle and the title that give away it is really a pill.
"Little Book of Tar"
Like most people I have heard of a substance called pine tar, but never really had a contact with it,
My research began with buying a liter of tar to actually have an idea how the material looks, smells and behaves. After that I moved on to the history of pine tar, mainly in Estonia.
The production of pine tar is a very old tradition here, starting even before the medieval times and ending with the soviet occupation. Tar in a household was used for everything, there was a saying about tar; everything you make-tar it. Everything that was wooden and needed to withstand weather, especially rain, was tarred. This includes boats, houses, yard poles and even fishing nets. Some leather products were also tarred, like boots. But tars qualities also extended to medicine. It was supposed to help against 9 different illnesses and for the tenth drive away snakes.
So tar had a large role in people’s lives and therefore it still is somewhat familiar to us.
After the pine tar production was stopped in the 20th century, when other chemicals took over, it was revived in the beginning of the 21st.
However, when looking at the contemporary information about pine tar it isn’t any longer related to its usages, but more on the production itself. Pine tar making has become a tourist attraction. People have the opportunity to observe and participate in the process; it has become more of a show or a performance.
The similar process has happened in the field of cooking where we are presented a book that combines all the history and tradition into a recipe and images. You may or may not cook yourself, but you always have the opportunity to flip through it. The same thing goes for cooking shows. A person acts out a process which one can simply view to spend time and at the same time remain completely detached.
I turned the traditions in tar production also into a cooking book, following its aesthetics. Now it is available for everyone to flip through.
Download the book.