The artists look at the objects in the museum environment through the prism of alchemy, a pre-scientific practice which nevertheless significantly advanced the progress of science. In its operation, a museum creates a hierarchy in which works of art and the objects used to display or preserve these works take on different roles. With its impact on the wider cultural understanding, this practice brings about a clear understanding of what and on what grounds we value and highlight.
In this site-specific project, the artists will create new works of art for the Kumu courtyard which make up an installation as a whole. With the emphasis on the support structures of a display, i.e. on materials dismissed by art history, which are fragmentary by nature, the artists will synthesise valuable material, new works of art, with the tenacity of alchemists. Important parts of the installation are objects gathered from the museum’s collection and on display in its branch museums; while Kristi Kongi mainly concentrates on works and objects found in the sculpture collection of the Art Museum of Estonia, Kasper Bosmans looks at the attributes of female saints on the Rode altar of the Niguliste Museum, bringing late-medieval chalk drawings, which were at the time important tools for handling an altarpiece, into the modern day.
Kristi Kongi (b. 1985) is an Estonian artist whose oeuvre focusses on colour, light and space; her paintings are often installation-like or site-specific. Kongi’s works are characterised by bright colours. She has participated in a number of curated and personal exhibitions. In 2017, Kongi received the Konrad Mägi Prize.
Kasper Bosmans (b. 1990) is a Belgian artist who continuously works on unique symbolist imagery, placing equal emphasis on form, content and colour. Bosmans has taken part in a number of group exhibitions, while his most recent personal exhibitions have been held in such prestigious institutions as the Witte de With in Rotterdam and the de Hallen in Haarlem.