Diary of a used-to-be museum. Graduation exhibition of Estonian Academy of arts.

Void, silence, eerie expectation. We are totally alone in this building and the guard is standing outside under a tree, smoking. Brown walls, pockets with booklets and posters on them, that I grab along to write on something. Very brown walls.
The first room has television sets with videos of performances by Open Academy (the non-official faculties where people study whatever they want for a certain fee). There is also a film by a student of Folk Art and cultural anthropology about the craftsmen of the island Hiiumaa and their view of life and heritage. A strange island with wizard-like craftsmen like the ones in Tales of Earthsea. The stuff they make is sort of similar and has a mystical aura of furthest shores and dangerous stormy nights.
The second room also has a student of Folk art and Cultural Anthropology who has created a set of folklore- inspired clothing, very simple, clear and stylish. The way they are standing there on mannequins feels like it is a fashion show with invisible models. Ghosts.... The great chandeliers hum a silent tune and light is dripping in through windows that are covered with white posters. there is no Time as such. We are inside a black-and-white cartoon and walk like ghosts ourselves.
I notice that a lot of young artists on this exhibition are taking a step from their field to a completely different one. A graphic artist is making flower beds based on the pattern inspired from Versailles. He has planted a bed of nettles. A photographer paints watercolor. A glass artist is using tools of textile artists, replacing some parts of the weaving looms with details made out of glass and "weaving" a glass fabric. Another glass artist is sewing glass cubes over and attaching parts of them with red thread (of fate?)

We feel so lost....while a working museum is a space that has a strict logic and a pre-determined path, an ex-museum is a confusing, chaotic and irrational space that plays tricks to your mind. We find it hard to find our way and we don´t know where it is we came from or where we´ve been already. A space that seems to change, a house that lives. On that note, what makes the house seem more alive is how many scsents are used to accompany works on this exhibition. Scsents from India, scsent of raw leather...
It would be pretty scary if I had come here on my own. There are other spirits now besides us stepping out of the walls. There are also some works of art that seem alive, like huge bird-costumes from a dance performance I GO. Those birds seem to follow you to the other room, to peck on ceramical butterflies that a ceramic artist has trapped inside glass boxes. Collected souls, collected lives. The empty, forgotten museum is collecting its own items, this house doesn´t want to be empty.
There are more ghosts looking at the stuff now. A mother with a baby carriage. None of the visitors seem real in such a place, cause why would someone bring a baby carriage up along a molded staircase with dark brown soviet style walls?
There is a red dor in the basement. It is not a work of art, but it draws me more than the graduation project of a student of scsenography exhibited next to it. Where does this door lead to? Absolutely nowhere. The staircase is a concentrated, compressed preserve of all the colors, scsents and sounds that exist in this forgotten space. Everything ends up being sucked down here and mixing with the scsent of a starting renovation.
Then we somehow end up back in the lobby and there is a souvenir stand like in a very regular, ordinary museum, although it is not surrounded by the glitter and the noise. A no mans´ land. I buy a book of modern comics by young estonian designers (100EEK).
I spent 3 hours on this exhibition and the sun is low and dark orange when I step outside. It was worth while and I am thoroughly haunted by all that I saw.


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