In the end of May 2003, an exhibition ‘Kättevõtmise asi’ (approximately: the Thing at Hand) opens in the Tallinn Art Hall. It’s been some years since the last big survey of all the applied arts in this establishment. The exhibition is organized by the Estonian artists’ Union and its subdivisions for applied arts.
The Thing at Hand is something concrete, something like a smooth pebble in your palm. You just throw it and see it bounce off the waves. But soon, one realizes: the Thing at Hand becomes tricky; it gets too hard to handle, it slips through your fingers, it deliberately changes shape and nature.
The Thing at Hand requires spiritual strength. Only by applying that strength, its integrity can be revealed. The strength of the spirit enables us to move mountains and juggle with the stars.
Every work of art is a Thing at Hand – more so if it’s material. It comprises the contradictions of spirit and matter, the bearing and birthgiving.
A work of art can materialize a message, be it a clay jug or a golden amulet. Whoever quenches one’s thirst, shakes the jug’s handle and thus salutes its maker. A lump of gold ain’t just shining metal. It also bears the eternal handshake of the jeweller.
Both qualify as artwork for the current exhibition – provided they contain, besides clay or gold, some strength of spirit.