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I-Land Mini Exhibition by Urmas Luus

poster Urmas




 I got the idea for X and heart brooches when I was living in an Estonian suburb called Lasnamäe, mostly filled with russian speaking working-class people, who were moved here from other part of Soviet Union to work in different factories. Lasnamäe has hundreds of huge house with tiny appartments. Just like a field of anthills. Veiko Õunpuu directed a movie "Autumn Ball" (base on the novel of Mati Unt) and there is a sentence: "In every fucking box, there is a human being, who has a wish to be happy". Enameled pots were used in every household and you can find piles of them on scrap yards. Forme they became the symbol of post-soviet industrial misery. Heart was the most controversial shape for material that is soaked by the depression of occupation.

But when I started to show them in galleries, most people did not care about my story. They had their stories with enameled dishes. "My grangmather had a pot with that pattern. I remember how she boiled potatoes with it." or "Oh, this heart reminds me mymother. She always used enameled pot with flower picture". Everyone got some memories when they saw the pieces. I could call it "material with memory".


When Estonia started to discuss legalization of same-sex marriage, a picture of heartbrooches were representing the melting point of ex-soviet conservative mentality, on the cover page of Estonia leading culture newspaper Sirp. Heart shaped brooches cut out of old soviet enameled steel, were representing the new mentality that destroyed the old orthodox understanding of love and partnership.


Now I try not to fill the pieces with my own concept, but I rayher give audience freedom to fill them with their own stories.


Some more poetic versions of the stories:

Cat is walking in the other room. Grandmother. Old house. Floor is making a weird sound. Somthing cooks in the white enameled pot. Pot has a rose pattern. Toilet is in the garden. Small of moisture, old human, cat and fresh dill.

Evening. Big house, Small apartment. Gray concrete. No hope to get a new job. No money. Bottle of vodka and old broken enameled pot full of cheap pasta. Someone is shouting in the corridor.

War. Dead people, Repulsive stench. Moment to have a rest. Fog. Inevitable future. No future. Only a moment. Food. Hot black tea with a lot of sugar in brown enameled mug. Cold and wet air. Some airplanes are coming.