Переосмысление территорий

Reconfiguring Territories

Territooriumite ümber mõtestamine

Uudelleenmäärittyvät paikallisuudet

This is a subtitle.

The Creative Association of Curators TOK

( Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits at TOK’s retrospective exhibition “How to Work Together”, New Holland, St Petersburg, 2019. Photo: Aleksandra Getmanskaya )

The Creative Association of Curators TOK is a curatorial duo founded in St. Petersburg by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits in 2010 as a platform for research projects at the intersection of contemporary art, social sciences and socially oriented design.

As a nomadic collective working between Russia and Europe, the Middle East and the United States, TOK curators place their practice between historical analysis and political imagination. Their multilayered, durational and cross-disciplinary projects generate new knowledge about the causes and consequences of changing political realities.

Often working outside of traditional art spaces, TOK infiltrates into social structures, bringing their strains and corrupt functions into the public discourse in order to revisit the roles and powers of social institutions and redraft their potential future. TOK investigates mechanisms of post-Soviet public space and modern cities, collective memory and amnesia, the transformation of social institutions, including education and local governance, media and strategies for managing public opinion. TOK’s activities include exhibitions, performances, educational events (conferences, seminars, summer schools, round tables and discussions), and publications.

TOK curators will join the (Re)configuring Territories residency in the spring 2021.

Research project – residency 2021
→ Исследовательский проект – резиденция 2021
→ Uuringuprojekt – residentuur 2021
→ Tutkimusprojekti – residenssi 2021

Research project TOK curators

During their residency, TOK curators would like to critically rethink the parameters for historical analysis of the post-industrial areas in cross-border territories between Russia and Estonia as well as to look at their common political, industrial and ecological history. By conducting cross-disciplinary analysis of the legacy of such city-forming entities as the textile factory, the post-nuclear seaside town Sillamäe and The Baltiс Power Plant, TOK curators plan to publicly address the details related to impact of these industries on the regional natural environment and beyond. They also plan to investigate the connection between the ethnic landscape, urgency of technological development for military purposes and secret geological operations in the area of Narva. The curatorial research will include work with archival documents and historical footage, conducting personal interviews with former workers of the industries, witnesses and victims of industrial processes and secret operations, talking to local biologists, geologists, historians and environmental activists and journalists.

Laura Kuusk

Laura Kuusk lives and works in Tallinn. She has studied at Annecy Higher Art School (DSRA, 2014), Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in photography, 2008) and Tartu University (BA in semiotics and cultural theory, 2005). Kuusk works as an assistant professor in Estonian Academy of Arts since 2015. Kuusk mainly uses photography, video and installation mediums in her work. Most of her works are connected to recycling anthropological visual (found) materials. Her latest works address the identity construction and its links to visual intertextual materials.

Amongst her latest exhibitions are participation at the Fast Forward festival at Dresden (online edition) (2020, curated by Charlotte Orti); Dear Algorithm, at Tallinn Art Hall gallery (2020, curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk); The Artist Gets the Floor. Estonian Art Museum 100 at Kumu art museum (2019, curated by Eha Komissarov); People Like You at Pärnu City gallery (2019); New Chic at Riga Photomonth (2018, curated by Arnis Balcus); Image Drain at Tallinn Art Hall (2017, curated by Anthea Buys) and Flatland at Positiiv Gallery (2016). She has initiated an ongoing series of events – Silent Sessions – together with Camille Laurelli.


As a duo varialambo (Varia Sjöström, visual artist, musician and performer Hatz Lambo, visual artist, poet and performer) we formed in Berlin in 2018. 2019 we moved to Helsinki and were invited to the Festival Today Is Our Tomorrow. 2020 we have been invited to curate and facilitate an 8 months long Performance LAB program at Museum of Impossible Forms Helsinki and the Festival NOTHING TO LOSE. Last August we unveiled The Chainsaw Man, an immersive performance made for an online livestream format and supported by the KONE home residency grant. In September 2020 we launched our art and poetry book The Itching Triangle at PUBLICS, Helsinki. 2021 we will exhibit our new work Narrating WAR / HABITAT 1 in collaboration with Ali Akbar Mehta, and open Partners in Crime I-X our solo exhibition at Myymälä2 Helsinki.

„We like the idea of social fantasy. We like the state of over exhaustion and lasting plays. The repetition of given narratives is one of the last dinosaurs on earth. It’s time to bury it with dignity but fast.“

Research project – residency 2022
→ Исследовательский проект – резиденция 2022
→ Uuringuprojekt – residentuur 2022
→ Tutkimusprojekti – residenssi 2022

The right to the night

How could a violent free world look like? Is a violent free society even possible? When does violence begin and what do we perceive as such And how can art contribute to a safer, more social environment? During our residency in Narva we want to focus on public space, control and women. Many indications point to the existence of a global system which, from the absence of suitable outdoor places for women for certain kind of practices to the narration of news, demands women, and single women in particular, to spends as little time as possible outside home or any closed and controlled place of professional activity. Perhaps more importantly, the use of public space and its apprenticeship, especially at night, remain different for men and for women. How to explain that contemporary space is so little investigated, even though it is perhaps one of the last bastions of a manifest inequality of use between men and women, to the extent of an even inequality of possibilities of use, of which both are active and passive producers?