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Exhibition

Outlook – 40 Years of Street Photography in Estonia

07.08.2020 — 11.10.2020

The Juhan Kuus Documentary Photography Centre presents the first comprehensive exhibition of Estonian street photography titled “Looking Out: 40 Years of Street Photography in Estonia”. The exhibition is open until 11 October 2020.

The exhibition gives an overview of the Estonian street photography over the last 40 years. The earliest pictures are from the 1980s when Estonia was still under Soviet rule. The show continues with images dating back to early 1990s when Estonia regained its independence and was eagerly absorbing Western cultural influences. Many can easily recognize the street views from the 2000s, by now significantly transformed but still familiar. The timeline ends by photos taken just a few months back, offering unexpected and exciting captures from the streets in spring 2020. As you will see, there is something for everyone. In 40 years, not only the streets look different but we have also changed, as have changed the times, the man and the technology.

In Estonia, street photography as a clearly defined genre has been knowingly practiced just for the last decade. However, there are plenty of images from the past that would clearly fit into this category. Street photography can be regarded as a form of art or as a documentary genre, but above all, it is the expression of artistic approach to history and culture. Street photography captures random moments and situations in public places. Although street photography is often considered to be the same as candid photography, this is not necessarily the case. Another misunderstanding is that street photography can only take place on the street or at least, in urban environment. In fact, there just have to be some traces of human presence in the picture. 

Estonian street photography is still a largely unexplored terrain. This show will provide a glimpse into the fascinating and diverse collection of captures by renowned and less known Estonian photographers – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Definitely there are loads of undiscovered street shots by current and past photographers: we hope that this exhibition will serve as a source of inspiration for photographers to present their works for future exhibitions.

The pictures on show here were provided by photographers in response to a call for submissions announced in early spring 2020. On display are also many works from the collection of Tallinn Museum of Photography as well as from private collections. There are unique copies of gelatin silver prints along with contemporary high quality digital prints.

The photographers presenting at the exhibition are Aare Leinpere, Aiki Järviste, Ain Protsin, Andres Teiss, Andrii Mur,  Anso Matt, Ardi Kivimets, Arno Saar, Aron Urb, Eino Pärnamets, Erko Ever, Eve Toomla, Harald Leppikson, Heiki Sirkel, Heikki Leis, Indrek Pleesi, Josif Brašinski, Jüri Talts, Kalju Suur, Kalmer Allik, Maiké Tubin, Mark Raidpere, Martin Murusalu, Mati Hiis, Mihkel Ulman, Olev Kõll, Oskar Vihandi, Peeter Langovits, Priit Loog, Rait Tuulas, Reelika Vilt, Sanna Larmola, Sven Ustintsev, Targo Miilimaa, Tiina Kõrtsini, Tobias Tikenberg, Tõnu Noorits, Väino Meresmaa ja Ülo Josing.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Juhan Kuus Documentary Photo Centre, Tallinn Museum of Photography and Estonian Street Photography Association. 

Curators: Airi Leon, Kristel Aimee Laur, Tanel Verk, Toomas Järvet

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