Baltic Pavilion: The Operative Archive

Opening of the exhibition at Design and Architecture Gallery, Tallinn, on 10th of March at 6 pm.


Agata Marzecova, Maros Krivy

Vernacular Geology, 2016

The method of vernacular geology traces geological records across different domains of life. Such practice is in part an everyday aesthetics of geological meanings and in part a geology of earthly materials as we experience them in their habitual forms, taking seriously rocks, statements and images. Vernacular geology is concerned with geological knowledge, but it also explores how this knowledge informs the sedimentation of perceptions and imaginaries.

The exhibit is built around a triple typology that makes up the geology of the Baltic Sea’s eastern shores: the stratigraphic layers of the Cambrian-Ordovician limestones and sandstones, the glacial drift of granite boulders left from the last ice age and the unstable grid of “brick pebbles” and anthropogenic conglomerates. We pay attention to how rocks are used and abused and how they become ideological carriers and relics: national symbols and economic resources, romantic objects and obstacles of urban development, cladding materials and ruins of gentrification.

Operative Archive is a follow up exhibition in Estonia to the Baltic Pavilion exhibition from the last Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. The Large scale joint exhibition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in Venice is now scaled down to a format of an Operative Archive, highlighting the local context and the relationships of different (in total 87 artefacts on 2000 sqm in Venice) exhibits. The Baltic Pavilion explores the built environment of the Baltic States as a shared space of ideas. There are transformative efforts at play which are reprogramming an inert region beyond the delineations of separate nation-states. This exhibition and a series of related events presents a cross-section of Baltic space. In light of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch, the developments in this region will unfold as a non-linear stratigraphy.

Curators: Kārlis Berziņš, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zariņa, Jonas Žukauskas

Image credits

Agáta Marzecová, Maroš Krivý: Vernacular Geology, 2016 (Baltic Pavilion). Photo: Johan Tali