The exhibition “Attached” at the Pärnu City Gallery Artists House presents the work of glass artists Maret and Tiina Sarapu and brings this particular constellation of works together for the very first time.
In Maret and Tiina Sarapu’s joint exhibition glass has become attached and attachable. Glass extends itself, reaches out, probes the world around it and fastens itself to it; it draws the world into itself and attempts to tie it in and close it off from the outside. And so the exhibition includes other artistic media and materials, nevertheless, glass still holds a central position. Layered, gentle, multifaceted, clear-cut and seemingly practical, glass plays tricks on the viewer and suggests it is something that it’s not; it pulls the world in, concentrates it and then spills it out in new combinations.
Tiina Sarapu’s work highlights glass’ (in)ability to constrain and delimit. She plays with the possibility of hiding and displaying at the same time. The familiar but slightly shifted forms – cases, crates, containers – are, above all, meant to hold and hide, however, in this they don’t quite succeed. Or perhaps they don’t really even want to – sagging and ajar, they’re inviting and waiting, but reluctant to be open completely. Although orderly and timidly gray, the containers leak a kind of restlessness that is difficult to pinpoint. Just like the scattered streaks of light and refracted reflections, it can envelop you or vanish in a matter of moments. Maybe the restlessness is tied to uncertainty about what the containers actually “do”, or what the viewer is expected to “do” with them. Orderly and chaotic, enticing and daunting – these cases are impossible to seal, yet it is easy to get trapped in them.
Maret Sarapu’s works also hide and conceal, but mainly themselves. While they are eye-catching and purposefully beautiful, they are not easily grasped. As the viewer moves in space and time, the pieces, too, change in an instant. Here glass attaches the world to itself but fragments the surroundings and flings out new reflections and shapes – it is the dynamic nature of beauty that makes it so captivating. There is no hierarchy between big and small, detail and whole – a fragment can become a whole world and the whole world can appear in a shimmer of light, both equally deserving attention.
With the exhibition “Attached” the sisters-glass artists look into the possibility of simultaneously hiding and exposing something. Is it possible to see and not see at the same time, while being faced with the known and the unknown, detail and whole, so completely attached to one another?
The exhibition took place at the Pärnu City Gallery Artists House, Estonia, 04.12.2019–11.01.2020.