Paul Kuimet (1984) is an artist who works with photography and 16mm film through the immersive form of spatial installations. His works are characterised by their mediated technical vision. His photographs and films depicting architecture and environments bring forth a sense of place that can only be experienced through the mediating and affecting apparatus of the camera; this is the case even when, at first glance, the figures appear realistic or natural. Kuimet creates illusions by shifting boththeviewer’sway of looking, and the order of the frames.
One of Kuimet’s earliest series’ ‘In Vicinity’ (2010) depicts personal and collective experiences of the 21st Century Estonian landscape, documenting newly built suburbs in which bourgeois dreams meet a ruthless void. At the exhibition ‘Viewfinders’ (2012) Kuimet continued his exploration of the urban environment and the formation of its identity, placing the viewer in amongst contradictory objects, landscapes, and place names. Kuimet’s documentation of urban environments was published in a comprehensive art historical book ‘Notes on Space. Monumental Painting in Estonia 1879—2012’ (2012/2017), in which Kuimet incorporated mathematical rigidness and conceptual romance into his photographs.
Stemming from dissatisfaction with presenting his works two-dimensionally and statically, Kuimet instead presents them as spatial installations, directing the viewer’s movement and perspective as part of the artwork. In photographic pieces ‘Le Lys’ (2014) and ‘Late Afternoon’ (2016) the viewer adjusts, moving in relation to the works, seeing them together and independently, one after another – according to Kuimet’s dramaturgy. Kuimet’s 16mm films made from 2014–2017, such as ‘2060’, ‘Exposure’ and ‘Golden Home’, express an interest in modernistic forms. The projections work in dialogue with the exhibition space, using continuous loops and meditative tempos, which emphasises the sculptural nature of the films.
Paul Kuimet studied photography and video at the Estonian Academy of Arts, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Baltic Film and Media School, and the University of East London. Kuimet has had solo exhibitions in Tallinn, Brussels, and Berlin, and participated in group exhibitions in Riga, Brussels, and Rome. He has been artist-in-residence at the Väino Tanner Fond (2015), Espace Photographique Contretype (2014) and Atelierhaus Salzamt (2010). In 2018 Kuimet will undertake a residency at WIELS Contemporary Art Center.