Radio Tenthaus ep 139: Radio Momentum – Jaanus Samma & Matilde Balatti
28/06/2022 20:00 – 23:00
For today’s program, I am really excited to share the conversation with the curator Matilde Balatti and the artist of Momentum 12 Jaanus Samma, about the curatorial process of the exhibition “National Utopia”.
National Utopia presents two sets of harnesses and jockstraps that are inspired by traditional patterns from Norwegian folk costumes. Just like many Norwegian folk garments nowadays, these items have also been made by local craftsmen in Estonia.
Jaanus Samma’s body of work includes photos, installations and videos with topics grounded in gender and queer studies. His current fields of interest include history, ethnography and museology, as well as the narratives used at the intersection of these fields. In his most recent projects, he has explored the museum as a tool for establishing authentic histories and asserting cultural canons. In queering national heritage, he has found ways of broadening the perspectives on identity formation and offered alternative ways of contextualising the past. Samma’s practice relies on fieldwork – interviews and archive research – to produce subjective artistic output based on his findings.
For MOMENTUM 12, Samma develops ongoing research on Estonian cultural heritage, enquiring into the dynamics of identity formation defined by a territory’s history and policies. On this occasion, Samma investigates locality and local identity considering the location and cultural context of the biennial through traditional, national costumes. These are approached as a tool to reflect on how cultural heritage often mirrors the construction of sex and gender as binaries. Here, Samma brings up queer history as a “transgression” into the binary traditions related to folklore and history, advocating for the untold histories to be part of a common narration included in art institutions, collections and national memory.
Matilde Balatti studied Art History at the University of Milan, with a focus on contemporary art. She continued her education in Arts and Cultural Management at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Her interest is in Nordic cultural policy and experimental approaches to administrative practices in the cultural field. She is currently exploring collective budgeting and creative administration techniques.
Radio Momentum is a platform open to artists participating in MOMENTUM 12. It provides a bridge to a wider program of exhibitions, sound works, research, workshops, audio tours, interviews, discussions, and events.