ars viva 2022 – Agents of Perception, Kai Art Center, Tallinn

The exhibition ars viva 2022 – Agents of Perception will be on view from April 9 to August 7, 2022, presenting six artists – the ars viva prize* winners Lewis Hammond, Tamina Amadyar, and Mooni Perry, as well as three remarkable emerging artists from the Baltic region: Laura Põld, Anastasia Sosunova, and Jānis Dzirnieks.

Find the exhibition guide here.

Metaphorically, the exhibition approaches artists as agents in the field of perception – creators with a special cognition and presence who bring across critical knowledge and poignant emotional states. Their courage is limitless in either critically opposing something or in remaining deliberately ambivalent.

The attentive minds and creative skills of the artists enable them to make complex phenomena – such as the repression of groups, human selfishness and alienation, and ignorance to nature – graspable by audiences. The presented artworks enhance the possibility of reflecting upon these contemporary and everlasting existential topics while offering relief in difficult times.

ars viva 2022 – Agents of Perception is therefore not an intellectual exercise but a poetic experiment. It involves different mediums from contemporary painting to video installations, bringing these six enigmatic artistic positions together. A common characteristic in the artists’ works is the affective force of abstract, archetypal, mythological and surrealist elements. The exhibited works invite the audience to freely experience emotional intensity and follow the sensations initiated by alluring colours, uncanny symbols, and dreamlike imagery.

By linking the position of the agent and the artist in the idea of ​​the exhibition, the curator wants to highlight the importance and role of artists as mediators and shapers of the collective consciousness. There is a widespread understanding in our everyday language and popular culture that agents act for someone or something. Artists, however, serve their own agenda and work with topics and sentiments that need to be expressed according to their personal values, no matter how much tension and discomfort a revelation or an elaboration upon something might evoke. They can cause a shift in our perception and communicate directly with the subconscious. Artists have the agency.