15.12. – 02.04.2023
Martin Siplane is one of the most adventurous architectural photographers in Estonia. For him, the surrounding urban space and traditional architectural photography are slowly turning into a stepping stone to something else. His vision gives familiar landscapes and buildings completely new contorted and deconstructed and at times humorous layers – we know what we are looking at, but fail to recognise it, something is astray, and yet…it is more exciting than the real thing.
The key motif of the exhibition is temporary elements in the urban space: buildings in their moments of weakness, surrounded by scaffolding, unfinished, and not of much interest to the citizens passing them by. Yet the photographer finds these fleeting periods in the life course of buildings much more attractive than what emerges from underneath these cocoons and trusses later on. According to him, “the temporary monumentality of the scaffolding, the sculptural form of the concrete columns, and the builders skipping like Jesus over the one-centimetre layer of water that glazes the bare concrete floor, reflecting all this, offers an immensely fascinating and photogenic sight.”
Taken over the last few years, the photographs of scaffolding forming the series explore rhythms and patterns, unexpected forms, spatial quality and, through the artist’s interventions, (absurdist) humour and metaphysics; it is a critical commentary on the monotonous new architecture in Tallinn, a call to pay heed to the ephemeral quality of the urban space, and an ode to history.
This is Martin Siplane’s second solo exhibition. His debut exhibition “Abstract City”, which deconstructed Tallinn’s architectural heritage with an optimism inherent to Siplane, was on show in Tallinn in the photo gallery Positiiv in the spring of 2022.