Generation of the the Place: Image, Memory and Fiction in the Baltics, a group exhibition

Tallinn Art Hall

NB! 8 October at 2 pm, a special guided tour in Tallinn Art Hall – Baltic artists introduce themselves, their works and the exhibition!

The exhibition is a part of the project Re:Searching the Baltics, aimed at reviewing photography used by Baltic artists born in the 1970–80s. Grown up in the shift of two eras, this generation still has vivid memories from the early Soviet childhood, mixed with the experience from the teen years in rapidly changing Post-Soviet environment. The experience of this local fin de siècle gave the generation a specific commonness, clearly separating them from earlier and later, entirely Post-Soviet, generations.

The late 1980s was also the time when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania stronger identified themselves as the Baltics. The three countries that had no common history neither identity before the beginning of the 20th Century engaged into common political movements. The Baltics had to generate their identity as a place, since before they were mere a part of the Soviet Union for the rest of the world.

The project aims at asking what it means to be a generation related by the particular place. Does the place generate us, or do we generate our place? Does the geopolitical unity of the region implicate commonalities in the art as well? What is the common memory of generation and how does it show in its imagery? What kind of common experiences, real or fictive, could we trace in works of one artists’ generation?

The exhibition has several interconnected thematic layers: the status of documentary as a genre, photographic thinking about time and place, looking for specific qualities of the local, common features of the generation and its’ specific way of using still and moving photography in contemporary art.

At the same time there is a need for contextualization of different photographic practices in the Baltics. All the participating artists have shown their works in the West but never came together at exhibition to tell a sited narrative. Images at the exhibition let one experience the local fiction stories as well as the imprints of the memory.

In the end of 2011, the project is going to sum up with a publication representing more extensive research including texts and images.

Arnis Balčus (1978) is an artist who lives and works in Riga. He has studied at the University of Latvia in Riga (BSc in Communication Studies, 2002) and at the University of Westminster in London (MA in Photographic Studies, 2005).
He mainly works with photography and moving image. He focuses on (self)identity, performative body and representation of (soviet) memory.
Arnis Balčus’ works have been exhibited all over the world; since 1998, he has had 13 solo exhibitions in Riga, Berlin, London, Vienna, New York, Copenhagen, Šiauliai. He has also participated in many group exhibitions in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Vienna, Berlin, London, Frankfurt, Kaunas, Cēsis, Prague, Moscow – the most recent of them Gender Check in MUMOK, Vienna (2009). His works are published in numerous catalogues and solo books.

Ugnius Gelguda (1977) lives and works in Vilnius. Has studied at the Vilnius Academy of Arts (Postgraduate degree in Photo and Media Arts, 2010). Since 2011, he is a lecturer at the same academy.
In his artworks, he often rethinks and plays with various modes of photography. Among his interest are the power of photography as a medium and its identity. Though his main medium is photography, he also makes installations and videos.
He has had solo exhibitions in Vilnius, Cologne, Madrid, Klaipėda and Šiauliai. Since 2002, he has been participating in group exhibitions in Spain, France, Holland, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Austria, Latvia and Czech Republic.
Ugnius Gelguda has received an award for photography exhibition Debiutas / Debut (2001). He was a laureate of Ministry of Culture Award for the best professional art debut (2006) and has won a special prize for work Zalgiris at Moscow International Festival of Arts (2007). In 2011, he has published a book Crimescapes (

Vytautas Michelkevičius Vytautas Michelkevičius (1981) lives and works in Nida and Vilnius, Lithuania. He is a media theorist, activist and curator. In 2010, he got his PhD in Communication Studies with thesis on Lithuanian Photography in 1960–1980s, which was published in Lithuanian and English (2011).
Since 2002, he has taken part in a number of exhibitions and projects both as an artist and a curator. He was an editor and co-editor of 5 books on photography and media studies. Among other exhibitions, he co-curated Post-Photographic Condition in Contemporary Art (2006, a catalogue and magazine) and Mapping Lithuanian Phtotography: Histories and Archives (2007, a book). He edited the book Medijų studijos: komunikacija, filosofija, menas / Media Studies: Communication, Philosophy, Art (Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts Press, 2007). In 2005–2009, he was an editor of online magazine on media culture (
Vytautas Michelkevičius is a lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and is an artistic director of the Nida Art Colony (

Marge Monko (1976) is an artist who lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. She has studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in Photography, 2008) and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Monko‘s main mediums are photography and video. She has examined psychoanalysis and its impact on representation of women in visual culture. Her recent subject is gendered work in the context of paradigmatic changes of labour policies.
Monko has had solo exhibitions in Tallinn, Helsinki and Budapest and she has participated in several group exhibitions, a.o in Biennale of Young Artists in Tallinn (autumn 2007), curated by Rael Artel and Anneli Porri.
She is a lecturer at the Photography Department of Estonian Academy of Arts and a member of the Elfriede Jelinek School of English Language, a feminist reading group.

Krista Mölder (1972) lives and works in Tallinn. She graduated from the University of Tartu (BSc in Geography, 1994), the Tartu Art College (Professional Photography, 2001) and the Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in Photography, 2006). In 2004, she studied at the University of Westminster in London.
Krista’s works are poetic and personal, her visual language is nearly always harmonious, and metaphysical. She is interested in the relationship between space and emptiness, and transitions between them.
Since 1998, Krista Mölder has been actively involved in group exhibitions in Estonia, England and Ireland. She has had personal exhibitions in Estonia and England.
Krista Molder is one of the founding members of FOKU – the Estonian Union of Photography Artists.

Robertas Narkus (1983) lives and works in Vilnius. He has studied at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (MA in Photography and Media Art, 2010). As an exchange student, he studied at the University of Turku, Finland (Photography, 2005). Robertas Narkus had his first solo exhibition in 2008 (0–1, Gallery of Photography, Vilnius).
Robertas Narkus works together in duo with Milda Zabarauskaitė.

Milda Zabarauskaitė (1981) lives and works in Vilnius. She has studied at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (MA in Photography and Media Art, 2006). In 2005, she spent a spring semester at the University of Plymouth, Faculty of Media Arts, England.

Besides video and installation, their interest primarily lies in photography and its nature. Robertas Narkus and Milda Zabarauskaitė make staged and performative documentary, political and social photography, as well as fiction documentary with perfectly arranged objects, which produce aesthetic pleasure.
Since 2005, the creative duo has participated in group exhibitions in Turku, Vilnius, Tartu, Šiauliai, Paris, Łódź and Moscow.

Kaspars Podnieks (1980) lives and works in Drusti and Riga, Latvia. He has studied at the Art Academy of Latvia in Riga (Visual Communication, 2007).
He mainly makes photography, video, multimedia installations and environmental objects. Kaspars Podnieks is interested in site-specificity of the place and landscape.
Since 1998, he has been participating in contemporary art exhibitions and festivals in Latvia and abroad.
Since 2005, Kaspars Podnieks has also taken part in social and political activities in his home village Drusti – he is a deputy of Drusti Council (since 2005), Drusti Council chairman’s legal representative (since 2007) and a deputy of Rauna region (since 2010).

Rimas Sakalauskas (1985) lives and works in Vilnius. He has studied at the Vilnius Academy of Arts (BA with honors degree in Audiovisual Art, 2009).
He works with various forms of media art but he mainly experiments with video.
Rimas Sakalauskas has participated in many film and video exhibitions and festivals in Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, Serbia, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Norway, France, Portugal, Turkey, Hungary and the Netherlands.
He has received Grand Prix and Baltic Award for the Best Work in the Field of Visual Art (Riga, 2009), Quality Seal Winner in EUROPRIX Multimedia Awards (Salzburg, 2009) and 1st Alternative Routes award at Moves10: Framing motion film festival (Liverpool, 2010).

Tadas Šarūnas (1981) lives and works in Vilnius. He has studied at the Vilnius University (MA in Communication Studies, 2006).
Tadas Šarūnas focuses on photography and its power to reflect one’s identity, representation, as well as social and the imaginary landscape.
In 2005, Tadas Šarūnas had his first solo exhibition Own Place in Vilnius, after which the exhibition has been shown in Turku, Klaipėda, Kaunas and Šiauliai. Since 2003, he has participated in group exhibitions in Vilnius, Stockholm and Upplands Väsby. Throughout his career, he has been involved in various artist initiatives: Vilnius University Photography Club, Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association, etc.

Sigrid Viir (1979) lives and works in Tallinn. He graduated from the Photography Department of the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA, 2009) and she is in the middle of her master studies in the same department. In 2007–2008, she studied Media Arts at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

Sigrid Viir cultivates both the installation and art based on photographic medium. Several of her works have focused on researching community-based processes and individual and social frames surrounding it.
Since 2007, she has been actively involved in group exhibitions in Estonia and Germany.
In 2009, Sigrid Viir was awarded the Young Artist Award.
Sigrid Viir is one of the founders of Visible Solution Ltd.

7 October 2011, at 18:00


8 October 2011 – 20 November 2011


Tallinn Art Hall


Vabaduse väljak 6, Tallinn


Kunstihoone pilet 2.50€ / 1.150€

More info

+372 6 442 907


Vytautas Michelkevičius (LT)


Arnis Balčus (LV), Ugnius Gelguda (LT), Marge Monko (EST) Krista Mölder (EST), Robertas Narkus ja Milda Zabarauskaitė (LT), Kaspars Podnieks (LV), Rimas Sakalauskas (LT), Tadas Sarunas (LT), Sigrid Viir (EST)