Leviathan: the Paljassaare Chapter is open from September 19th to November 8th, 2020.
The exhibition opening is on Friday, September 18th at 7pm. The opening event also marks Kai Art Center’s 1st birthday.
For this iteration of his expansive multimedia project Leviathan – exploring the links between climate change, migration and mental health – acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood imagines the future of a connected Baltic and Kent shoreline in a new, cutting-edge virtual reality work. This VR film is accompanied by a series of site-responsive collaborations with Estonian scientists, ornithologists, historians, musicians and artists that respond to the ecological, political and historical context of the Paljassaare peninsula which is situated across from Kai Art Center.
The exhibition premieres The Terrarium (2020), a virtual reality experience that takes the viewer 300 years into the future, where 90% of the planet’s surface has become covered by water. Traversing Baltic ecosystems, viewers will meet organisms that have survived or evolved through genetic mutations due to a changed climate. Book your individual VR experience here.
Above water, visitors will be immersed in the Estonian recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux by Peep Lassmann, a soundscape evocative of the nearby Paljassaare, which has transformed into a bird-watching haven resulting from the evolving military and industrial use of the land.
A major new textile work commissioned by Kai Art Center, entitled Coastal Artillery Battery, Paljassaare (1915) alludes to Paljassaare’s shifting landscape. It was made in collaboration with Tallinn-based smart-textiles designer Kärt Ojavee and students at the Estonian Academy of Arts, who are pioneering an algae-based dyeing technique with locally sourced marine biomaterial.
A new sculpture by Dawood will be in dialogue with research images by biodiversity specialist Dr Kai Künnis-Beres, alongside material contributions by Kärt Ojavee and Triin Loosaar, signalling unexpected entanglements across human and non-human ecologies.
A public programme of site-responsive walks, events and special screenings will accompany the exhibition, with details and dates to be announced soon on the Kai website.
Exhibition participants: Shezad Dawood with Kärt Ojavee, Joonas Plaan, Peep Lassmann, ecoLogicStudio, Robert Treufeldt, Kai Künnis-Beres, Sten Lassmann, Lennart Lennuk, Graham Fitkin, Triin Loosaar, Annika Kaldoja, Katarina Kruus & Ann Müürsepp
Co-curated by: Inês Geraldes Cardoso, Karin Laansoo & Triin Metsla
Curator’s tour in English, lead by Inês Geraldes Cardoso will take place on Saturday, September 19th at 2pm.
Kai Art Center is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12pm to 7pm. Ticket prices are 8€/5€, and on Wednesdays admission is at the discounted price of 5€ for everyone. You can get tickets at Kai Art Center or purchase them in advance. Tickets and individual VR experience booking info can be found here.
Group exhibition tours are also available by appointment — write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
The exhibition is supported by Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn Culture Department, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Embassy of Estonia London & UP Projects.
Special thanks to Hartwall Original Long Drink & Tridens, Põhjala brewery.