est eng

Fresh issue still on sale! "I will leave this page open, looks like it's not loading. Let me know when it's working again." – Taavi Eelmaa & InferKit, "Triaad" (4/2022)

 

A foreword from the editor-in-chief

Andreas Trossek (2/2020)

Andreas Trossek.

 


Dear KUNST.EE reader,

If you have a friend who hasn't read a single issue of KUNST.EE, this one might be a good place to start. Because this current issue (2020/2) is a retrospective collage – a selection of facsimile essays, interviews and reviews from 2000 to 2020.

The Estonian art and visual culture quarterly KUNST.EE will be 20 this year. That is if we do not count the Kunst almanac published in 1958–1996 and Taie before that in 1928–1929, and consider these our predecessor and proto-ancestor, respectively.

In other words, we could also celebrate our 62nd and 92nd anniversaries this year, if we really wanted to. But why complicate the arithmetic of history unnecessarily?

The fact is that for a straight 20 years this magazine has been published in a quarterly format, with a new issue appearing every spring, summer, autumn and winter. In any case, it is the oldest professional art magazine published in Estonian.

Subscribers get their new issues conveniently in the post. The occasional buyer will find the information they need in our web archive at ajakirikunst.ee, which was set up in 2009. In 2012, full English parallel translations replaced the previous partial translations and summaries. Estonian art speaks to both domestic and foreign audiences; that is just how it is these days.

So, many thanks to all KUNST.EE collaborators – artists, critics, historians, philosophers, photographers, designers, proofreaders, translators, etc.-etc. There are oh so many of you!

A feast in the time of plague? Well, not quite. By the time Estonia declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which lasted from 12 March to 17 May, preparations for this celebratory collection were already under way. Then again, never before has cultural consumption been so retrospective as during this corona crisis.

We are less and less aware of what is happening in culture synchronously, because it is as if our "now" has been put on pause. And the future in turn seems to have been "suspended". This just leaves us with the past that we are still able to make some sense of – and perhaps even learn something if we put in the effort. Who knows?

Thus, the 2nd issue of KUNST.EE for 2020 is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the magazine specifically and the recent history of Estonian art more broadly. The issue is organised chronologically to contain at least one contribution from each year.

The range of topics addressed by the final selection of articles was kept as broad as possible – from social realism to surrealism and from post-feminism to post-internet, figuratively speaking. To our first-time readers we can say, "Even if you knew absolutely nothing about Estonian art before, you will know a thing or two after working your way through this issue."

However, one shouldn't pretend that the choice was objective. It wasn't, nor could it have been. Dozens and dozens of authors and artists were left out simply due to a lack of space. A calculation made out of curiosity showed that a "best of" type of collection of articles would have required a minimum of 500 to 600 pages. Nevertheless, let's not rule out the possibility that someday someone might very well take on this Herculean task.

"The new millennium begins optimistically," wrote Heie Treier, then editor-in-chief of this magazine, in the 112-page opening issue (2000/1), which hit the shelves in early November 2000. At the same time, she admitted that many under-researched topics would have to be shelved for the future. Now, almost 20 years and 80 issues on, we look to the future with the same hopeful pessimism, because… have we ever really had any other choice?

Stay tuned!

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