Kristi Kongi in Dialogue with Kasper Bosmans. Alchemists, Artists, Cleaners and Others.
At Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia. 2018
The artists Kristi Kongi and Kasper Bosmans are looking at the objects in the museum environment through the prism of alchemy, a pre-scientific practice which nevertheless significantly advanced the progress of science. In its operation, a museum creates a hierarchy in which works of art and the objects used to display or preserve these works take on different roles. With its impact on the wider cultural understanding, this practice brings about a clear understanding of what and on what grounds we value and highlight.
In this site-specific project, the artists will create new works of art for the Kumu courtyard which make up an installation as a whole. With the emphasis on the support structures of a display, i.e. on materials dismissed by art history, which are fragmentary by nature, the artists will synthesise valuable material, new works of art, with the tenacity of alchemists. Important parts of the installation are objects gathered from the museum’s collection and on display in its branch museums; while Kristi Kongi mainly concentrates on works and objects found in the sculpture collection of the Art Museum of Estonia, Kasper Bosmans looks at the attributes of female saints on the Rode altar of the Niguliste Museum, bringing late-medieval chalk drawings, which were at the time important tools for handling an altarpiece, into the modern day.