Idea: Marje Taska and Reinhold Rutks
Execution: Reinhold Rutks

"Force", the first part of the exhibition trilogy in Vana-Võromaa Culture Hall, was introduced by the curators’ silver baton: a tiny rolled up manuscript. Only the middle section of the manuscript was visible with the text "Sanctus praesens" or "Holy Present".

The introductory exhibit “Spirit” is fifty times larger. Another manuscript, with the scroll open – the past, the present and the future are unfolded and rotate between two axes, set in motion by the visitor's foot on a pedal. The exhibition message, "Spirit", is communicated in telegraph code, or Morse, invented in the XIXth century. Pressing a button adds sound accompaniment to the text.
The object is created in the context of contemporary events as thousands of tragedies are generated by the hunger for power. We wished to create a generator of peace that circulates a message of peace, powered by the visitors. The Holy Present waits and hopes for peace, only when there is peace can the spirit unfold and evolve.

Marje Taska

Eye in the Egg

1962, oil, paper
Tartu Art Museum

The Estonian artist who lived in Moscow served as a bridge between the avant-garde art of Tartu and Tallinn in Estonia and that of Moscow in Russia. The basics of the spirit of his art were formed under the influence of modern art, acquired from the Pallas school of Estonian art society. In the 1960s he developed his own language of images as a symbiosis of his contemporary scientific thought, cybernetics, surreal art, personal experience and the tendencies of the Russian underground avant-garde. One of the recurring motifs is the image of an egg.

"Eye in the Egg" (1962) is one of the first egg images in his work. Combining the image of the egg with an eye can be interpreted as attributing a sense of vision and the concurrent ability to understand and think to all life. Expanding the interpretation of the image of the eye, for example in the light of the early Christian art, it can be understood as the presence of the divine.

Reet Varblane

Synthetic landscapes of Tartu

Audio by Taavi Varm, Ville MJ Hyvönen and piano by J. Kujanpää

The artists’ curiosity in synthetic landscapes is demonstrated in several artworks, like “POSTcard Landscapes from Lanzarote I and II”, and “Phantom Landscapes of Buenos Aires”. Their interest lies in exploring place identity through its digital shadow, which often re-paints reality.

Synthetic landscapes of Tartu is a new artwork specially made for the ‘Tartu Vaim’ exhibition that questions the meaning behind the so-called Tartu Vaim. Being a flâneur in Tartu, the artists collected a number of image-scapes of the city that were later fed into an artificial intelligence model that generated synthetic landscapes of Tartu. Like a ghost in a machine, the algorithms re-compose pixels through the artists’ code and create an unseen image of the place.

Varvara and Mar

High River Rebellion

Sound: Juhan Vihterpal

The sea will reach Tartu when sea level rises 50 metres. Most of the ancient ice in Antarctica, Greenland and the glaciers has to melt for this to happen. Then the waters of Pärnu Bay will flow over the lands of the Soomaa Nature Reserve, between Võhma and Suure-Jaani and through the Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve until these join Lake Peipsi. Salt waters and fresh waters will meet in the middle of the ancient valley of River Emajõgi where Tartu is located. In Tartu the water will stretch from the Town Hall on one side to the Puiestee Street on the other side. The University will be submerged but that doesn’t matter, as it can be accessed by diving. A gull is carried to Peipsi on something floating on the waterway. All is still, only subdued acoustic deterrence, once used on the banks of Emajõgi to scare the crows, rises from underwater.

Eva Labotkin, Roomet Jakapi and Tanel Rander

Safe Mind

Video, 10’

When is the mind safe? When entertained, certainly. When watching the news, perhaps. When asking too many questions, usually not. When nobody believes what is said, certainly not.
The synapses of mice are genetically engineered to be light-responsive so that light signals can be directed straight into the synapses. Different neural networks of the brain are made light-responsive in different cases. In the first case the neural network of aggressive behaviour is stimulated, as the result of which the mouse attacks a piece of wood. In the second case the mouse is stimulated to overeat. Then its social behaviour is stimulated, and so on. This allows us to speculate on the human brain and consciousness. Language is a factor in human behaviour. Words can trigger fear, desire and other feelings in the brain's different neural networks. In my video I have merged various layers and modes of manipulation of the brain.

Matthias Sildnik

What Is It Like to Be a Bat?


The pleasure and the pain of existence in the world consists in the non-acceptance of its limits. The desire to transcend physical limits is the basis of creativity and art. Metaphysical adventures and imagination are confined by the character of our subjective experience. "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" is an essay by Thomas Nagel in which he discusses the things that impose limits on human imagination, including the inability to truly experience what is it like to be a bat. Humans may hang upside down and feed on insects, but even the best attempt will give only an inkling of what is it like to be a bat. It will give only an idea of what is it like to copy a bat.

Marja-Liisa Plats

I Wish to Take Wing


"I Wish to Take Wing" depicts a stylised human body. It is an artistic image, a body language expression of the human desire to take off. I tried to depict the impulse of the human soul to take off from the material mundane world into the vastness of the spiritual world where only human power, strength and talent set limits.

Aime Kuulbusch

Four Birds, 1973
Landscape with eight birds, 1973
Twilight I, 1969

Ink, paper
Art Museum of Estonia

The fine lines of Mare Vint's graphic art form fragile – yet strong – images. Already in her early romantic ink drawings she was captivated by the harmony between natural creation and human creation. Her arranged landscapes manage to convey the magnificent order of the world, the microcosm of her landscapes symbolises the macrocosm of the universe. Nature in the ink drawing "Twilight I" (1969) is reduced to a little circle in the middle of the picture to make space for a meaningful silence and void. For eternity.
It is important to remain true to yourself. The worst thing is to act against yourself, to do something you do not want to do and that is contrary to your principles. Conscience must remain clear.

Mare Vint

Untitled Library

DIASEC print

The beavers that live close to my home are resolute in their building/construction practice. They are masters of their craft and instinct. Each year a farmer comes with an excavator and destroys their work but they are indefatigable and rebuild. We tend to accumulate knowledge in order to master and control the world we live in but that year I rebuilt the dam with books as well as mud and wood and my own instinct, just for the pleasure/fun of it.

Paul Rodgers

rorriM derorriM / legeeP silgeeP

Silk screen

The work is composed of the words "peegel" and "peeglis", "mirror" and "mirrored ", and their mutual combinations with the mirrored forms so that no columns repeat. Working out the pattern and all the possible permutations took hours of brain racking. A mirrored mirror is an equivalent for a lofty spirit because there is nothing to mirror.


Embodiment III (Fauna’s veil), 2019
Embodiment V (Flora´s Bodice), 2019
Embodiment VII (Eos), 2019

I tselluloos, Ahimsa siid, hibisk, agar, pressitud kroonlehed ja lehed,  bakterite ja pärmi sümbiootiline kultuur.
II Agar, bio-cellulose, Ethical woven silk, petals, skeleton leaves. Molded bio-cellulose of bacteria and yeast culture embellished with hand-pressed and rolled flora. Sleeves of bio-cellulose cultivated on ethical silk dyed with hibiscus petals.
III Raw silk, flora, skeleton leaves. Bustier of raw silk spun on layering of petals and skeleton leaves. The raw silk is spun directly by silkworms onto a cast of the artists torso and creates an intarsia like flower pattern fabric. The silkworms are cultivated in the artists urban micro-farm, where they are nurtured and cared for during their entire life cycle.

I create my installations and objects from materials I have developed myself. This is an organic nature-friendly technique, couture vivante. For years I have been interested in how to produce materials like bio-cellulose and silk ethically and safely. I have also thought about how the production process impacts on the environment. When I create sustainable works of art, I am aware of their lifespan. The silk in my works lives its life, decomposes and disappears. 
My installations are inspired by Baltic and Nordic folk art; in them I have used silkworms and dried meadow flowers that symbolise the cycle of life. I let the silkworms, which I breed myself, cover the dried flowers with a web of silk. The result is an uncanny fabric, reminiscent of intarsia, that is environmentally friendly, sustainable and ethically produced.

Linda Nurk

My Heart Will Burn Forever! (sketches on the theme of St Rita)


On the day after her baptism, her family noticed a swarm of white bees flying around her as she [Rita of Cascia, born Margherita Lotti] slept in her crib. However, the bees peacefully entered and exited her mouth without causing her injury or pain. Instead of being alarmed for her safety, her family was mystified by this sight ...
Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in the viewing. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy often refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of Western civilization.
The source files for the sound: (Creative Commons License 3.0)
Than van Nispen (
Malex Media Network (
dobroide  (
vtownpunks (
Dynamicell (
Benboncan (

Andres Tali



"Herdsgirl" is from my series of modelled female characters, also "Girl #2". Compared to others, she seems to originate from a distant era or at least a different environment or she is simply of a different mindset. She fits into nature and depends on the untouched environment. The herdsgirl is entrusted with the dream job and she does it earnestly. Almost like Jesus Christ as a shepherd.
I wanted to materialize not only my idea of the archaic but also a contemporary, free girl. In other words, I tried to portray sensibility.

Mare Mikoff

Time for Miracles, 1973-1976
Congloremate I, 1973-1976
Congloremate II, 1973-1976

Acrylic on canvas

This Swedish painter and graphic artist was intereseted in man’s spiritual and existential struggle and the decline of civilization. The main characters in his paintings – strange Kafkaesque anonymous beings, broken dolls or children of men, appear to the viewer as coagulated bunches – congloremates. The artist does not depict only anonymous groups, there will always be individuals who leave the congloremate with the chance of becoming an individual.
Uno Svensson’s works are from Stockholm Moderna Museet, the Swedish Nationalmuseet, the Art Museum of Kalmar and other collections, including private ones.
My pictures are not puzzling, they are clear and precise. I use the old underpainting and glazing technique to achieve as lively a result as possible. The subject is always man. Everyone will understand my interpretation of humans according to their own lived experience and way of thinking. The question is: do you want to learn about what is disturbing and uncomfortable or do you want to continue the dream of the Sleeping Beauty?

Uno Svensson

Moses and the Burning Bush, 2021
Philosophers on a Bookshelf, 2021
Sowing Spirituality from the Skies, 2022

Linoleum cut 

These works were made for the exhibition "Spirit" with little thought or analysis in advance – just in a moment of inspiration.

Toomas Kruusing

My Father's Spirit

Kinetic painting

In this work I am meditating on the wisdom and experience that is taught in our society by our fathers and grandfathers. At least, this is how it was in the 1990s when I was a child. I have depicted situations in which I have always felt a lack of skill or expertise because I did not encounter these in my childhood. In the centre of the picture is my father, or rather his absence in my and my mother's lives, a spirit is there instead of the real person. This is like a centre of gravity that the flurry of the role-play world revolves around.

Riho Kall

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