Flo Kasearu

Flo Kasearu (1985) is an artist whose activity-based art practices work through video, photography, painting and installation. Her works are seasonal and explorative, dissecting problems at a grassroots level and dealing with topics such as freedom, patriotism and nationalism, domestic violence, and the tension between public and private spaces. Often working in a fast and reactionary way, Flo reacts to different social processes with a refined sense of humour, as well as often elevating seemingly mundane biographical events into works of art.

In one of her earliest performances dealing with nationalism, ‘Estonian Sculpture’ (2005), Flo, dressed in national clothing, stood on a pedestal in a gallery with a sign hanging round her neck that read: “I am dead”; this signalled the fears and dangers of the artist’s identity and of the fate of her homeland. In the video ‘Multi Travels’ (2007) a woman dressed in national clothing introduced Estonia to Berlin. The protagonist of the video acts like a self-styled diplomat, who has taken upon herself the responsibility to talk to strangers about her homeland. Having the effect of a sales agent, her actions bring forth ideas of the Republic of Estonia as a company dependent on market logic. In the video work ‘Estonian Dream’ (2011) Flo considers the notion of patriotism further, considering homesickness and being imprisoned at home. The protagonist of the video is an expressive example of being inbetween: she wants to be here, and there, at home, and away from home.

In 2013 Flo Kasearu founded the self-named ‘house museum’, which is a site- and theme-specific exhibition of the artist’s work in her home. In this space, she has created many site-specific works, which deal with the issues of being a landlady and the accompanying problems that come with it, including the works ‘Nightmares of House Owner’ (2013) and ‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis[1]’ (2013). While conducting guided tours in her own home, Flo shifts the contexts of private and public spaces. This is also something practiced in the works ‘Party Next Door’ (2014), and ‘Members Only’ (2017) shown at the Performa biennial, New York. 

The video installation ‘Uprising’ (2015) is based on Flo’s principle of opportunity, framing the roof maintenance works as a magical scenario, in which characters dressed in black fold models of airplanes using pieces of tin from the roof. This video was filmed using a drone, a reference to heightened war paranoia and tense international relations. 

Flo studied painting (BA) and liberal arts (MA) at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She began using video and performance in her practice while studying as an exchange student in Universität der Künste, Berlin in the multimedia studio of Rebecca Horn. Her recent solo exhibitions include Members Only (2017), ‘We Are On the Way’ at Zacheta Project Room, Warsaw (2014), Flo Kasearu’s House Museum (2013 - ongoing), Tallinn, ‘21.05.09 / 14.06.09’ (with Tõnis Saadoja) Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; Tartu Art House, Art Hall Gallery, Tallinn (2011-2012). Flo won the Independent Performing Arts Award (2016), Köler Prize grand prix (2012), and Young Artist’s award (2008).

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