“Parasitic Symbiosis” by Pille-Riin Jaik and Miriam Esther Meyer


Joint exhibition “Parasitic Symbiosis” by Pille-Riin Jaik and Miriam Esther Meyer will be open in Hobusepea gallery from Thursday, February 4, 2021. Exhibition will stay open until February 22, 2021.
With Parasitic “Symbiosis” Pille-Riin Jaik (EE) and Miriam Esther Meyer (DK/MX) try to investigate expected collaborative behavioral patterns, rivalry, modernistic thought models as well as frames and materials, while considering both what would benefit themselves and the exhibition as a whole. The terms parasitic and symbiosis may appear paradoxical, but were chosen consciously to include both the give and take of the overall process and outcome. Did they successfully create a balance between seeking harmony and maintaining two autonomous viewpoints? That remains an open-ended question.
For Meyer Parasitic Symbiosis presented an opportunity to free herself from restrictive working conditions and develop an awareness of what she can compromise on before the result becomes stifling. “For me, this journey has not been a straight-forward trajectory. The plan was to challenge the conditions of my performative drawing concept Dependency Action Documentation - a concept that I realized was less of a co-dependency and more a self-destructive reliance on my part as well as one with limited creative possibilities - in the hope of developing a healthier process and outcome. That happened in phases - five to be exact - each of them involving having to overcome new obstacles that presented themselves along the way. Some of those obstacles were specifically related to the collaborative nature of this exhibition and some would have arisen, regardless of context. The result is Dependency Action Liberation, which includes the presentation of my original hypothesis and premise, a description of the different development stages and a conclusion, reflecting the overall take-away, as well as three paintings, sealed in latex. I think the works can be approached in different ways, but for me, the personal impact has been greater than expected. Somehow the conscious choices I had to make have made me more aware, and I hope that that is somehow conveyed in the works - if nothing else, in an abstract way,” she says.
For Jaik it means questioning how radical transparency would look like in the artworld: “We all have stolen something from someone, even if it’s from history. There can be such a thing as ethical stealing though, in my opinion. A kind of stealing that can make things grow. Subconscious stealing, for example, when you admire someone’s work or are exposed to it frequently. It could also be ideas that are close to your heart that you feel need to be elaborated on. Parasitical Symbiosis is made from such thoughts and attempts; questioning the myth of single-minded genius and its habitat, the White Cube. In my installations I try to show how I am never able to fully work alone. Each of my artworks depend on someone else’s talent and in some cases, someone else’s work may be the reason for their formation in the first place. For example, in the double installation “So, I weed” and “So, I weed & I weed” I dug into an archive at the art academy of Vienna and translated the findings into vegetation - oppressive weeds, boring bureaucratic grass and a hidden, nonexistent rose (women’s letters to demand right for education that were excluded from the archive). I try to question the ground I stand on, my own soil and with what limitations and preset patterns one is allowed to grow.”
Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Pille-Riin Jaik (born 1991 in Tallinn, Estonia) is a Vienna based interdisciplinary artist mostly working with video/performance as well as with sculpture and installation. She has a Bachelor of Photography from the Estonian Academy of Fine Arts and MA from Art and Digital Media (professor Constanze Ruhm) at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She works a lot with text, plants, textile, surplus and unused materials/thoughts in feministic and class aware discourse.
Miriam Esther Meyer (Denmark/Mexico, born in 1988) has since 2015 been studying under Carola Dertnig at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria. In her work, Meyer is interested in investigating what impacts our behaviour and shapes our patterns of thinking, using painting, sculptural objects, video and performance. She uses research from primarily psychology and biology, sometimes employing or creating experiments and exercises that engage selected participants, resulting in data fragments that are turned into intricate paintings or drawings, other times by conducting an experiment herself or by investigating a subject by using narrative.
In 2018, she and Pille-Riin Jaik collaborated on the work Moving Body in Aggressive Motion, which was shortlisted for the Jury Award and streamed at Frauen Filmfestival 2018 in Vienna, Austria. Parasitic Symbiosis will be the second collaborative effort between Jaik and Meyer.
The artist’s gratitude goes to: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Austrian Embassy in Tallinn, Gerda Nurk, Irmeli Terras, Martti Toivar, Mari-Liis Jaik.                     
Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.
Additional information:
Hobusepea Gallery
Tel: +372 56 451 591
      +372 52 85 324
      +372 6 276 777
Hobusepea 2, Tallinn 10133
Wed‒Mon 12.00‒18.00
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