The murdered muses of Tanel

In the stair gallery of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the masks created by Tanel over the last ten years are exhibited for the first time.

His mask creations have grown out of accessories created for catwalks and are loaded with otherworldly stories. The masks take on sculptural, free-form dimensions and are independent works that are intriguing in their autonomy. Conceptual masks made of the most diverse materials are exhibited at the exhibition, sometimes they are surreal compositions consisting of seahorses, and sometimes they are deconstructions of complex cross-sections of Bolt’s scooter or lush clusters of Earberries. The exhibition’s theatrical presentation is inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tale “Bluebeard”.

Photos: Iiris Kivisalu

“The story of Bluebeard was impossible to forget. A beautiful gothic castle where spooky stories take place. A delightful lady who can’t scrape blood off a key. Bluebeard remained mysterious… why did he do it?” the artist explains the connection with the famous fairy tale.

Photos: Iiris Kivisalu

Veenre is chased by a similar impatience and curiosity as the characters in a fairy tale. He is not afraid of doors: “If on stage the masks are more like carnival accessories, then in the exhibition hall – without fashion and models – they become portraits of spirit beings. Murdered muses, dearer than the stages of life. Now I’m a Bluebeard!”

Photos: Iiris Kivisalu

If you want to take a deep look into Tanel’s world, you can read the in-depth interview in the magazine Sirp (free for everyone), where he has said, among other things: “The metaphor of giving seems so fake-altruistically hollow, I’m just doing my own thing. Everyone has the opportunity to enliven the world, including art itself around. But what is this enlivening? At some point, a picture on the wall or a piece of music in the speakers may seem to me to be infinitely meaningful. But meanings have a habit of disappearing with the same sudden revelation as they appeared. Then I look and think: what did I find in it, after all?”

“I consider myself rather a cheerful person, I could not say it better than in the words of Matti Nykanen: “Life is the best time for a person!” However, under the surface bubbling with the joy of discovery, there are some springs that flow out of the coolness of inevitability. The cheers of everyday life do not reach there, the lonely place is. But my happiness is the ability to navigate different depths without getting stuck at the bottom.”

We also recommend reading these fascinating articles of the exhibition:

The designer of “Bluebird” is Katrin Sipelgas, graphic designer Margus Tamm.

The exhibition in the staircase gallery of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (Lai 17) will remain open until September 24.

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