Tartu Art Hall / large gallery / 22.01.–20.02.2022

This exhibition marks the third and last project in Benno’s artistic research in the doctoral school of the Estonian Academy of Arts. This time the focus is on landscapes that previously appeared in the background of her artworks. Image is becoming abstract and architecture is backing away from the stage. A layered landscape comes forth, the rocks in Earth’s crust reveal themselves underneath the soil. At the same time, the crystallization of posthumanist philosophy in Britta Benno’s artistic (self-)definition reveals itself through the agency of minerals.

Tectonic layers are alive, moving and breathing, forming mountains and flooding continents. The layers arise from above while shaking and cracking holes and fissures to the earth’s crust. In order to imagine the future, one has to look at the past to form a better understanding about the present.

Benno adds: “Through imagining the Earth’s layers, I am also working with layered approaches to art. In a way, working in layers can be also called a method of piling up. Materials, traces and images cover each other just like the layers of Earth form a huge globe. Poetically flowing mountains can be discovered in the heap of blankets on my bed, on a topographic map or in an atlas of imaginary beings.”

Britta Benno (b 1984) is an artist working with drawing and printmaking. She has studied printmaking at the Estonian Academy of Arts where she is currently also finalising her doctoral project “Thinking in Layers, Imagining in Layers: Posthumanist Landscapes in the Extended Field of Drawing and Printmaking.” She is an instructor in the printmaking workshop at the Academy, has taught various courses in the school, and has participated in artistic residencies in Canada, Austria and Iceland. This is her first solo exhibition in Tartu.

Collaborative input to the exhibition works: Ragnar Neljandi (cinematography, animation, post-production), Kassandra Laur, Iti Oja, Kristiina Tali (installation), Juhan Vihterpal (composer).

The artist expresses her gratitude to: Laine Groeneweg (Smokestack Studio Hamilton), Pudy Tong (Open Studio Toronto), Rober Zeigler (Cotton Factory Hamilton), Madis Kaasik (Prototyping Lab manager at the Estonian Academy of Arts), Mare Isakar, Juho Kirs (holder of geology collections at the University of Tartu, consultant), printmaking workshop of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Katrin Piile, Elnara Taidre.

Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Academy of Arts, Nukufilm OÜ.