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The experimental forms exhibition “CARDINAL” was opened in the atrium of Viru Keskus

26.02.2024

From February 27th, the atrium of Viru Keskus hosts the Estonian Academy of Arts’ fashion, textile, and accessory students’ exhibition of experimental forms titled “CARDINAL”. Created under the guidance of fashion designer Liisi Eesmaa and visual artist Flo Kasearu, this creative project poses the question of the need for cardinal changes in material recycling.

Over eight years, the mission of these experimental form exhibitions has evolved into the fair, creative, and inspiring use of material leftovers in design. Facing the increasingly acute problem of waste, this time the authors were tasked with deconstructing curtains to create a new identity for them. Throughout the process, EKA students brought to life 18 experimental organisms, each telling a radically different story but all supporting the same goal – to raise awareness of our environmental situation and find magic in things whose prime has passed. The primary materials were leftover window slats, pleated blinds, and roller blinds from Sunorek and Avaexperts’ production. In addition to the vision and a large amount of material, the process also involved a tremendous amount of work – for instance, the work “Dance on Razor Blades” consumed 150 meters of metal strip and 419 screws, and “Dardin” required 12 hours just for material polishing. This year’s installation design also involved young interior architects from EKA, who contributed to the exhibition design and thoughtfully considered smart material use. For example, information boards were created using hand printing, eliminating the need for vinyl stickers.

Fashion designer and project mentor Liisi Eesmaa commented, “This course’s most challenging question was how to make the relatively dull and square curtain remnants flow, crawl, and fly? How to create something organic and dynamic from something so artificial? Through endless experiments and sleepless nights, wildly exciting mutant characters came to life. This course was a real adventure, and it was cool to be one of the guides on this crazy expedition!” “This time, it was my turn to guide a radically super group! In addition to thinking outside the box, experimental form teaches the importance of appreciating your radically cool classmates, who encourage each other through the creative process,” noted artist and other mentor Flo Kasearu.

The exhibition is hosted by Viru Keskus, a long-term partner of experimental forms. The center’s marketing and communication manager, Kristel Sooaru, reflects on the partnership: “We all know that the fashion and textile industry’s environmental footprint is one of the biggest, while there are numerous challenges in material recycling technologies and broader consumption. Therefore, we are pleased to collaborate with EKA, which directs students to contemplate their substantive responsibility through form games and manages to visually articulate this thought process interestingly. We invite everyone to enjoy this fireworks of ideas and reflect on each individual’s footprint and responsibility.”

Sooaru added that the ‘RADICAL’ concept was specifically created by interior architecture students for the renewed atrium, leveraging the specificity of the space and creating a distinct space for the exhibits. Interior architect Annika Kaldoja, who supervised the interior architecture students, commented that ‘In developing the spatial concept, several conditions had to be met – taking into account the distinctiveness of the exhibited works, the atmosphere of Viru Keskus, and the short-term nature and reproducibility associated with the exhibition format.’ The solution deliberately avoids defining a specific starting and ending piece for the exhibition. Spatially, the design segregates, yet its airiness makes it accessible and viewable from all directions and different floors for the center’s visitors. The works have been photographed by acclaimed fashion photographer Riina Varol and are displayed on nearly four-meter reusable airy fabric panels.”

The works are displayed on nearly four-meter-tall recyclable fabric panels by renowned fashion photographer Riina Varol. This exposition gives visitors the opportunity to actively ponder the critical aspects of consumer society, taking them on a kind of inspirational journey of possibilities.

The “Cardinal” exhibition remains open until March 12th.

Artists: Helina Raud, Jürgen Sinnep, Hanna Eliise Lahe, Angela Aavik, Meeli Kombe, Anjali Venkatasubramanian, Eleonor Tingas, Pauline Ööpik, Morgan Kinna, Karmel Kibena, Lilli Ann Linno, Anna Maria Teras, Hannabel Kaal, Ringo Roots, Rose-Marie Riitsalu, Vivian Vuks, Epp Vislapuu

Interior Architects: Linda Marie Zimmer, Emily Marin, Simona Aleksandra Porta, Marcus Kask, Susann Vahe, Anni Kärmik, Caitlyn Kesa, Arnold Zagurski, Villem Reimann, Kairi Mändla, Christine Rõõm, Nelelis Tasa

Form Mentors: Liisi Eesmaa, Flo Kasearu Space Creation Mentors: Annika Kaldoja, Harold Kiisler, Gregor Taul Production: Piret Puppart Graphic Design: Pille-Riin Valk, Markus Laanisto Artistic Director of Photography: Liisi Eesmaa Photographer: Riina Varol MUAH: Mammu Models: Lola Terra (Agency Icon), Äli Enrietta (E.M.A. Model Management) Supporters: Viru Center, EKA, KIU, Caparol, Sunorek, Avaexperts, Fazer, Mull Drinks, Levier

 

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