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Life in the City

TALLINN Outlook – 40 Years of Street Photography in Estonia

Until 11 October

Juhan Kuus Documentary Photo Centre

There is just time to catch this extraordinary exhibition of photography at the Juhan Kuus Documentary Photo Centre in Telliskivi before it closes this Sunday.

This is a super gem of an exhibition and although the venue is small compared to its richer (and more expensive) neighbour across the courtyard, you will find the entry fee of 5 euros (3 euros for concession) worth every cent. Three rooms with 90 images by 40 photographers can be explored on so many levels. Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer yourself or simply someone that enjoys the craft, the Doc Photo Centre has really put together a show with plenty of substance.

As the title suggests, the works on display are mostly the kind of slice of life photography that is often also described as visual sociology. You can expect numerous frames packed with people, showing life in Tallinn through the decades, but there are also those that focus on more formal elements.

So for those that like to pore over historical photographs, there is a plethora of material painting a picture of life under Soviet rule, or during the difficult times after the monetary reform in the 1990s, but also images that manage to already look like a historical document even though they were taken just one or two years ago.

Stylistic preferences can also be identified and enjoyed – the humanity and warmth of images by Kalju Suur, or Andres Teiss’ use of formal elements of design often via a downward myopic view that flattens the image (see image above); the fresh optimism of the photojournalism of Aron Urb, or many others that have captured the mainstream or the fringe, architecture or industry, the young and old, the glamourous and the destitute.

This is an exhibition that is small enough that you can really invest some time in each image, unravel the stories, the historical details, appreciate the structure and formal craftmanship, and step back and appreciate the thematic groupings the curators have used in hanging the show. Groupings that are clear and understandable without being overly didactic and manipulative of the viewer.

On until Sunday 11 October. Don’t miss it!

Outlook – 40 Years of Street Photography in Estonia

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, Ülo Josing

Curated by Airi Leon, Kristel Aimee Laur, Tanel Verk, Toomas Järvet

Open: 06.08.2020 - 11.10.2020

Juhan Kuus Documentary Photo Centre

Telliskivi 60a/5 (next to Pudel Baar)

Wed-Sun 12:00 - 19:00 and by appointment, +372 522 2422


By Michael Haagensen

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