TOK will curate Tallinn Photomonth’s main exhibition at EKKM

TOK Curators (from the left: Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits). Photo: Alexandra Getmanskaya, 2019.

The new directors of the biennial, Kulla Laas and Merilin Talumaa, together with the selection committee, are pleased to announce TOK Creative Association of Curators as the winners of a closed curatorial competition for the 6th edition of Tallinn Photomonth biennial’s main exhibition that will be presented at Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) between September 1 and October 17, 2021.

The curatorial proposal by TOK was selected in close connection with the forthcoming biennial’s conceptual framework that is focused on notions of coping and adaptation, and the development of community during a challenging time of significant change.

When discussing its curatorial concept TOK stated,

‘Our main goal is to find answers to the question “how to prepare for the future that will be based on the principles of interdependency and new ways of cohabitation?” As a method to search for a new cognitive apparatus to unpack and explain the past and current reality, we are inspired by the idea of “intensive places”, a term that builds up on the principles of humanitarian geography, coined by the Russian philosopher and media researcher Mikhail Kurtov. An “intensive place” is a power place, from where processes begin from and where they are retained, where experiences are connected and from where they move on to other contexts, where previously not-connected actions and ideas gather and transform into new concepts that help generate new knowledge and modes of being.

By mapping and unpacking the “intensive places” we’ll be undertaking the following research directions and problematics: political imaginary and decoloniality in architecture; intersectionality and urban planning; industrial heritage and its ecological traces; public and private spaces and the hidden universes between’.

Originating in St Petersburg, TOK was co-founded in 2010 by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits as a platform for interdisciplinary research-based projects in the field of contemporary art, architecture, design and social science. The curatorial collective endeavour to challenge the borders of the art territory and seek new ways to foster social change through diverse formats of curatorial strategy, artistic production and institutional format.

Curated by TOK, Tallinn Photomonth 2021’s main exhibition at EKKM will also significantly direct the public and educational programme branching from it and provide a contextual framework for other sections of the biennial. In addition to this, the curators will contribute to the biennial symposium’s theme and list of invited performers. This symposium takes place for the first time in the biennial’s programme history and is organised in collaboration with the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC).

The selection committee for the Tallinn Photomonth 2021 curatorial competition included curator and writer Anna Goetz, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Columbia University and Institute for Comparative Literature and Society Gustav Kalm, Director at Kai Art Center and Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center Karin Laansoo, Project Manager and Curator at EKKM Laura Toots and Directors of the Tallinn Photomonth 2021 Kulla Laas and Merilin Talumaa.

For international press inquiries please contact Alexia Menikou

For local press inquiries please contact