Estonian Pavilion Symposium

Call for Action: Key Moments in Estonian Performance Art

Performa 17 Biennial Hub
427 Broadway
New York, NY 10013


This lecture and screening, presented by curators Anu Allas and Maria Arusoo, on Estonian performance takes place within Pavilion without Walls: Estonia, providing a context for Performa commissions and projects from the country through a survey of key moments in the history of performance art taking place there since the late 1960s.

The focus of the presentation will be on the relationship between artistic practices and their social contexts, with regard to the broader cultural scene in post-Soviet and post-socialist societies. The discussion will touch upon the emergence of early happenings that took place on the border of art and everyday life in Soviet Estonia, the professionalization and pluralisation of performance art from the early 1990s onward, and the relation between contemporary Estonian performative art and the global cultural environment.

The program is followed by a discussion with Anu Allas, program manager and curator at the Kumu, the Art Museum of Estonia, in Tallinn; Maria Arusoo, director of the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia (CCA); and Ksenia Nouril, independent art historian and curator based in New York.

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Image credit: Kristina Norman, After-War, performance and documentary in Tallinn, Estonia, 2009. Photos by Reimo Vosa-Tangsoo.


Organized by Maaike Gouwenberg, with Estonian Curatorial Fellow Evelyn Raudsepp. Co-presented by Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center. Supported by Performa Commissioning Fund, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, Art Museum of Estonia, and Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia (CCA).

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