PRESS RELEASE - Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, pressrelease for the Estonian exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennal, Marko Mäetamm’s project „Loser’s Paradise“, 10.06.–21.11.2007

Estonia at the Venice Biennale 2007
52. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte - La Biennale di Venezia
52nd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Marko Mäetamm’s project

Curator Mika Hannula (Berlin-Helsinki)

June 10th – November 21st, 2007
Vernissage: June 8 th, 2007
Palazzo Malipiero
San Marco 3079

The Estonian artist Marko Mäetamm presents a solo exhibition called LOSER’S PARADISE, which will represent Estonia at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, in 2007. The exhibition at the Estonian Pavilion is curated by Mika Hannula and commissioned by Center of Contemporary Arts, Estonia.

For the current exhibition, Mäetamm has created a conceptual framework that holds together all the new works done especially for this event; works that range from video installation via sculpture to paintings. A framework that guides the visitor through a setting that delivers what it promises: an all-encompassing view on the private sphere of a truly confused individual. What we see and hear is the litany of the ways how a specific person, this time highly personally the artist himself, fails to cope with contemporary pressure of success and competition. And yes, what we also see is how his fears and agonies have turned into violence and murder – descriptively speaking.

However, as the saying goes, if everything is wrong, then what is possibly right? Thus, what we feel and relate to is much more than meets the eye. Marko Mäetamm’s story in itself is so exaggerated, so over-whelming at its whining tone that as a viewer you can’t escape the feeling that something strange is going on. Isn’t his confession a bit too real? Can this actually be an autobiographical narrative? How much of his personal pain is manufactured and constructed?

All assumptions and assertions come together in the interactive play between experience and expectation, between real and fake, between soft and hard, sugar and spice, love and hate. We have no way of knowing. All we can do is to go with the flow at the site of the Estonian Pavilion and enjoy this weirdly enjoyable visual narrative with physical dimensions. Here, we confront a complex conceptual work in which Marko Mäetamm presents himself as a master of manipulation, an artist who certainly knows how to twist and turn the tales within the exhibition format. A story as in a proper gesamtkunstwerk that leaves you “violently happy”.

Mika Hannula

Commissioner: Johannes Saar (head of the Center For Contemporary Arts, Estonia)
Deputy Commissioners: Elin Kard (project manager of the Center For Contemporary Arts, Estonia) and Andris Brinkmanis