CATALOGUE - Andreas Trossek, Exhibition leaflet for “Backward Blues/Блюз наоборот” at the National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow, 20.09.–7.10.2007

Neeme Külm is an artist who doesn’t like to talk too much about his works. Laconic, we could say. Existentialist, we could add, after getting to know more about his portfolio. Although he was trained as a sculptor, he mostly works in video format instead, but ironically his video installations sometimes tend to grow into separate sculptures nevertheless. Especially two examples spring to mind right away: video installations from his solo exhibitions in Tallinn If (2004)and Fountain (2006). InFountain the room was filled with strange hanging ‘disco balls’ that mirrored the gallery environment. If the viewer dared to peek inside the mirror balls, s/he saw a short video. One was about the artist in ‘Jesus Christ-pose’, i.e. hanging on a huge iron gate, the other showed Neeme holding a big marble sculpture in his lap, like a hazy recollection about Pietà by Michelangelo. In his solo exhibition Fountain the gallery space was filled with weird scaffoldings and other structures for showing video fragments of such categories as Sleep, Death, Suicide and so on. It seems a certain topic resurfaces again and again in Neeme’s work – the feeling of being truly awake and alarmingly aware of your own existence. I guess that’s one reason the duration of these videos is only some seconds. It’s kind of a pity that Sartre didn’t visit Estonia later than 1964; I am sure he would have had deep discussions with Neeme.