Kaisa Sööt & Koit Randmäe 'Untitled (Board Game)' (2020). Screen shot: Kaisa Sööt

The 7th Artishok Biennial COPY will take place from November 18th to December 6th, 2020. 10 artists will be presenting new works, and for each artwork 10 writers have written accompanying texts. During 10 consecutive days from November 18th to November 27th, each artwork will be premiered at a specifically-chosen location in Tallinn. A group show that brings all the works together will open at Kai Art Center on November 27th and will remain open until December 6th.


The curators of the 7th Artishok Biennial are Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa. Amid today’s compulsive yearning for innovation, the curators’ aim is to revive discussions on imitation, simulation and copying. “Could it be that blinded by originality and uniqueness, we have unjustly left aside the potential that lies in copying?” ask the curators.


Repetition and references, echoing and mirroring, satire and imitation – in one way or another, the body of work of all the participating artists relates to working with something that doesn’t belong to them, something that is not obsessed with originality, or something that is intended to be duplicated. With this in mind, the artists were challenged to create new pieces for COPY. The participating artists are Ann Pajuväli (EE), Ann Mirjam Vaikla (EE) & Szymon Kula (PL/FR), Anna Mari Liivrand (EE), Jass Kaselaan (EE), Joana Chicau (PT/NL), Johanna Ulfsak (EE), Kaisa Sööt (EE) & Koit Randmäe (EE), Marc Leschelier (FR), Pieterjan Ginckels (BE) and Siim Karro (EE). Scroll to the end for the timetable of the premieres.


Following the biennial’s pre-established format, ten writers were invited to write about the emerging artworks. Each of them was tasked with writing a commentary for each of the works in production. The ten writers are Anne VetikHanna Laura KaljoJoanna HoffmannLaur KaunissaareMagdaleena MaasikMargit SädeMaria Helena LuigaMarten EskoVitamiin K (Siim Preiman Lilian Hiob) and Bogie Draaistel. Over this year, the writers and artists met digitally as well as physically, and organised studio visits to discuss the artists’ creative processes and the emerging artworks. The 100 texts were written based on these meetings and discussions ahead of the finalisation of the artworks. Varying from written dialogues to short sci-fi stories, they will be presented alongside the artworks from November 18th to November 27th.


COPY muses about and tests the concept of working with something which does not belong to us in the context where nothing really belongs to anyone anyway and everything has already been done before, many times. Yet every moment can, in some way, be novel and singular, can be made anew. The curators introduce a spatial dimension to the matrix of the biennial. Each of the new artworks will be presented in a specific place, form and context at a one-night-only event during a 10-day marathon of premieres. Pieterjan Ginckels’ satirical performance No Bull Data Centre, for example, will take us to the T1 Mall of Tallinn, Anna Mari Liivrand’s forged sculpture series invites us for a walk in Tallinn’s Old Town and Johanna Ulfsak’s large-scale hand-painted and hand-woven textile Soft Copies puts us onto a volleyball court.


The start and finish line for the marathon is at Kai Art Center. A broadcasting of Joana Chicau’s live coding performance copy {only} if: < copying acts > / < acts of copying >  will kick off the series of premieres on November 18th, at 6pm. Jass Kaselaan’s White City, a negative of his earlier Köler Prize winning work The Square of Dolls, will be the culmination of the marathon on November 27th. The group show bringing together all the works of the 7th Artishok Biennial will open on the same evening and will stay open until December 6th.


Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa are the authors of Weak Monument, the Estonian Pavilion at the XVI Venice Architecture Biennial (together with Tadeas Riha). They recently created the scenography and architectural vision for the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art RIBOCA2. Their spatial design studio LLRRLLRR is based in Tallinn and London.


Artishok Biennial has taken place since 2008. It is defined by an experimental exhibition format which connects art writers and artists on a shared platform and challenges their relationship during the working process. Artishok is an independent and informal collective, where the biennials’ previous curators select their successors for the following edition.


Updated information of the premieres can be found on Artishok’s Facebook page. The organisers ask all visitors to follow the 2+2 meter rule and to wear masks at the events. The events held indoors will be strictly following the specific guidelines set for the spaces.


The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tallinn Cultural Department, Institut Francaise, and the Estonian Association of Architects.
Sponsors: Ramirent Baltic AS, AS Silikaat, No Bull Energy Drink, ProKaamera, BIGBANK Tartu
Thank you to Estonian Academy of Arts, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Estonian Art Museum, TTK University of Applied Sciences, T1 Mall of Tallinn, DasHaus, Liina Linsi, Merilin Kruusel, Kerli Praks, Juulia Aleksandra Mikson, Anne Luik, Robin Ristimäe, Johannes Säre, Risto Kann, Pärtel Eelmere, Mari-Liis Päeva
Installation: Tehniline Direktor (Tõnu Narro, Mihkel Lember)
Exhibition team: Kadri Laas-Lepasepp, Kadi-Ell Tähiste, Triin Metsla
Graphic designer: Brit Pavelson
Documentation of presentations: Gert Põrk
Translations: Martin Rünk, Kristofer Rikken, Laura Linsi, Elnara Taidre, Tanja Muravskaja, Sandra Kosorotova, Maria Vassiljeva


During the 7th Artishok Biennial’s group show, Kai Art Center will stay open from Monday to Sunday 12pm-7pm.


Premieres timetable:

  • Wed, Nov 18th at 6pm, Joana Chicau copy {only} if: < copying acts > / < acts of copying >, at Kai Art Center
  • Thu, Nov 19th at 6pm, Ann Pajuväli Over the Edge, Across the Pond, at the lobby of Kadriorg Art Museum
  • Fri, Nov 20th at 6pm, Johanna Ulfsak Soft Copies, TTK University of Applied Sciences Sports hall, Pärnu mnt 62
  • Sat, Nov 21st at 1pm, Anna Mari Liivrand Thorny Enchantment From The Field, Pikk jalg street, Tallinn Old Town
  • Sun, Nov 22nd at 1pm, Ann Mirjam Vaikla, Szymon Kula The Monument of (R)evolution, at Iceland Square, in front of the Foreign Ministry of Estonia
  • Mon, Nov 23rd at 6pm, Siim Karro I Am The Measure Of All Things, at DasHaus, Pärnu mnt 29
  • Tue, Nov 24th at 1pm, Kaisa Sööt, Koit Randmäe Untitled (Board Game), at the shared yard of Erika St 2
  • Wed, Nov 25th at 6pm, Marc Leschelier Black Mortar, at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM)
  • Thu, Nov 26th at 6pm, Pieterjan Ginckels No Bull Data Centre, at T1 Mall of Tallinn
  • Fri, Nov 27th at 6pm, Jass Kaselaan White City, at Kai Art Center
  • Fri, Nov 27th at 7pm, 7th Artishok Biennial group show opening at Kai Art Center
  • Nov 28th-Dec 6th every day from 12pm to 7pm, group show at Kai Art Center