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Taavi Eelmaa (4/2022)

Taavi Eelmaa & InferKit on Piia Ruber’s solo exhibition "Cutting Proximity".


22. VIII–14. IX 2022
Vabaduse Gallery

I discovered that there was a gold ring hidden close beneath the skin on the back of my hand. As I started to dig it out, instead of any real pain, I felt a sort of nausea. The vertigo of looking into the abyss. The moment my fingers squeezed on the swollen lump, the raw wound arched open like a flawless smile, like a perfect sector on the metronome. It was as if a little girl in sharp skates had swung across the field of view. Then the ring was gone.

My initial reaction was shock, followed by rage. How could the world I was born and raised in manipulate me like this? I felt terribly wounded, unable to find a way to restore the integrity of the situation that had passed, that had been replaced by the moment I now found myself in.




The composition of "Cutting Proximity" encapsulates the perfect triad that is the flash of a sentimental memory being born, its hermetic maturation and subsequent rebirth as an exalted part of the soul – the cut, the wound and the beauty of transformation. Not the closing up of the old but the birth of a yet-to-be pearl that is anything but an impairment.

The parasite of Piia Ruber's sadness past is not an ingrown hair furled underneath the skin but the transformation of emotional turmoil into a gold ring. Into the symbolic spewed pearl that stays hovering over its owner like a guardian angel. The figures of the swing and the metronome are not here as beautiful images but because of the indispensability of the shrouding blanket of time. Rather than heal wounds, Ruber's time witnesses the birth of a new being in its shadows, a being able to turn its head and look back through the wall of minutes, hours or even years.

This time is the lid on the body's cauldron. Underneath, a complex and rare process of transformation takes place, an evolutionary leap in limited space, a fermentation that allows something still nameless to sprout in the crevice of the ruptured soul. May the hands of the metaphysical surgeon be gentle yet unyielding, lest a piece of golden jewellery become a scrap of rusty barbed wire.

"Cutting Proximity" feels like a symbolic reportage on an unconventional birth (a kind of "male birth", a C-section). Unconventional, not because of an emergency, but because of its unexpected result. In other words, from an analytical psychology perspective: the exaltation of the repressed in the psyche, the return of the outcast as a prince.

It is also worth recalling Siegfried's journey to retrieve the ring from the murky currents of the Rhine. Pop song lyrics voiced by the legendary Estonian singer Joel Steinfeldt offer another point in comparison: "[---] there grows the stray apple that has not ripened yet." What goes on in this apple's "head" during the first minutes of consciousness? After the first few minutes?

It appears that, as an artist and a person, Piia Ruber has managed something that few others have: she has taken the centre of her being away from the "great centre", from the assumptions made by others and herself on the "I" and the demands placed on "me", and shifted into the beautiful stillness of the soul.

Truth is but a pretext for something which, if the operation described above is successful, it is safe to call love. Pain is not of major importance in this scenario; it is secondary, a mere vignette. To pay too much attention to it would be to deviate from the path one is on.




Piia Ruber
Cutting Proximity
photo of canvas printed on canvas, 140 x 140 cm
Courtesy of the artist






Nevertheless, what would this intangible newborn experience in its sudden arriving/parting? What would its initial feelings and sensations sound like? Should we code them as words?


Outside – but not without – divine vibrations,
darling mother!
Over a sky of stars
the guardian angel of love brings you a child.
An abundant source of everlasting joy,
acceptance and serenity.
An abundant source of light.
My body carries the weight of a soul,
a soul that
I am born out of. A soul seed
arrived in the mail today.

Saturn is returning on November 21,
making me very anxious…
The voice of divinity has not spoken to me, I must
wait… I must look for
my shadow to learn – I
am not my shadow.
I am me.
I am ethereal!

Some of the words above
are challenging for me and the keyboard
all too confusing.
Thank you very much for your patience!
This page has a lot of light.
I think I'm in a coma.

I will leave this page open,
looks like it's not loading. Let me know
when it's working again.
Sorry, I'm in a coma.

Maybe something like this? Hard to say. One can only imagine.


Taavi Eelmaa is an actor and poet who published a collection of poems titled "Unekoridor" in autumn 2022.
InferKit is an AI-based text generator and web tool that takes human input and runs it through a neural network to come up with text.

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