CATALOGUE - Rael Artel, Estonian Video Art. – The blood project. E-transit. Warszawski Aktyw Artystow, 2005
The figure of a girl in folk clothing has been one of the central equivalents of nationality throughout the history of Estonian professional art: at the end of the 19th century she symbolized the mother of nationality and the advocator of traditions; during the Soviet rule she expressed the hidden patriotic feelings of an occupied nation. Yet Estonian contemporary art consistently deconstructs the figure of the woman in folk clothing, her national identity and traditional values, and also questions the national ideology that is cultivated by the country.
Flo Kasearu’s (born 1985) living sculpture declares the woman in her folk clothing dead. The artist is the protagonist of her work: she is standing on a pedestal like a monument from the Modernist era, raised higher than the rest of the human race. There is an aloof look in her eyes. She is illuminated like a sculpture ought to be. A classical full figure that is holding a sign in its hand, announcing its own death – I am dead.
How to interpret such an act? Who is dead? Is the Estonian artist dead? Or has the monument as such come to its end? Is figural sculpture asz an art form becoming extinct? Is a small nation in the periphery of Europe dying out? Or is it an announcement of the death of national art? Is the sculpture the prophecy or the statement of death? Has the myth of a nationality really collapsed? Have the basic symbols of a nation and its narrative really run empty in substance and thus lay dead? The artist does not offer the answers – we must find them ourselves.