Space Oddity


Space Oddity


Installation. Part of exhibition thisPLACEd
Tallinn City Gallery, Estonia

In 1991 the Soviet Union fell apart and Olga Jürgenson’s native country Estonia became independent. Every human being of a certain age in the country had to give up his or her Soviet passport, but not everybody was considered to qualify for Estonian citizenship, therefore the Estonian government decided to issue those other people with certificates of identity, which are called Alien’s Passports. Thousands of people became Aliens in the country they were born in and /or spent most of their lives in.

For the thisPLACEd exhibition Jürgenson developed an installation, which is her comment on the theme of humans in Space, which were over-romanticized in the 1960s-1970s, as well as Soviet Space Leadership related patriotism. Also it reflects her interpretation of the meaning of the term ‘aliens’, thus questioning the issue of belonging and integration in the context of the current social and political situation in Estonia.

One of the aspects of the installation was a series of paintings, for which Jürgenson used stencils, gem stones and other media. Another major aspect of the installation was a 3D object, which was referent to a Space rocket. The porthole was used for displaying a video film by Eleonore De Montesquiou, an artist who frequently interviews disadvantaged Alien Citizens in Estonia for her video works.

In 2008 a group of independent, Armenia related artists under_construction invited Estonia related artists to participate in a visual-virtual dialogue using a blog format as an artistic tool for exchange: over the course of a year several blogs became the virtual “territory” where the artists communicated with each other. A printed catalogue was produced to coincide with the exhibition.


© Olga Jürgenson