Tallinn Botanic Garden


The pan-Estonian art programme of Biotoopia’22 brings bug music and pays tribute to the last block of ice.

The pan-Estonian art programme of Biotoopia’22 brings bug music and pays tribute to the last block of ice.

In tandem with the conference-forum, which takes place on 17-19 August at Viinistu Art Harbour, the art programme of Biotoopia’22 will bring to the fore the essence of beauty in nature and its impact on evolution. Over the three days, we will have many live performances, make music with bugs, dance like plants, and worship the last block of ice, which will eventually be destroyed with the audience’s help. To end the journey of the art programme at Viinistu, we will get lost on Mohni Island while looking for an NFT.

This year, Biotoopia’s art programme will expand to collaborate with galleries and exhibition spaces all over Estonia, which means that through art the audience can ride the wave of Biotoopia from May to September. ‘Biotoopia’s art programme is not a separate entity, but it binds our topics into a whole, and this year for the first time it happens all over Estonia. Nevertheless, Viinistu is still the focal point, welcoming an illustrious company of known and respected creatives,’ says Peeter Laurits, curator of Biotoopia’s art programme.

17 August, the first day of Biotoopia’22, will be opened by Jaanika Peerna, a New York–based artist famous for focusing on the themes of natural phenomena, whose exhibition Glacier Elegy in the Sea Chapel feels like an acceleration of climate change as it worships the last block of ice. That same evening, David Rothenberg, multi-award-winning musician and biologist from the USA, will give a unique concert Secret Sounds of Ponds together with aquatic insects, which highlights their sound fields. ‘Peerna’s exhibition is made special by the performance on the second day where the audience together with the dancers will finish off the accelerator,’ notes Laurits.

The on-site art programme will also include dance – our imagination is amplified by the terpsichorean interpretations of plants by Karina Laurits. Outside in the yard, our Nordic neighbours, the main artist of the Helsinki Biennial 2021 Tuomas A. Laitinen and curator Ki Nurmenniemi, surprise us with a stationary ultrasound installation which facilitates communications with other life forms. The installation will be accompanied by a performance-lecture which will help to understand the creative process of the work and form a connection with the artists’ outlook. On day three, 19 August, the guests will be brought to Mohni Island for a hike, where we will allow ourselves to get lost on purpose while searching for a location-specific and Web-connected NFT-related installation created by Jila Svicevic. On top of everything else, we can get closer to nature in the workshop of Jan van Boeckel, promoter of art education from Holland.

The guests at the first Biotoopia found it valuable that it’s not too easy to get back to the fast pace of life from Viinistu. ‘The themes unravelled over the three days in the art museum, conference hall, at art installations and on nature hikes, engendering a real sense of bio-harmony that people could take with them from the conference and spread around among others. That is actually the Biotoopia that people seek to experience at Viinistu,’ said one guest.

Biotoopia’s 3-day art programme is extended by various exhibitions at our collaborators all over Estonia. From May to October there are several exhibitions taking place at different locations: Anthropocene by Edgar Tedresaar in the Tartu Art House, Sacred Baths by Peeter Laurits in Vaal Gallery, Varvara and Mar in Kanal Gallery, an exhibition by the Association of Estonian Printmakers in Rüki Gallery, opening of the sculpture park at Voronja Gallery, an exhibition at Kordon Gallery, and 8th Artishok Biennale Plants as Witnesses at the Tallinn Botanic Garden.

Biotoopia is an international hybrid conference which takes place on 17-19 August at Viinistu Art Museum, with illuminating presentations, art and music programme, workshops, and nature hikes. The first two days can also be accessed online. Tickets to Biotoopia are available on our website www.biotoopia.ee The early bird discounted tickets are offered till 30 April.

English is the language of the Biotoopia forum. The pandemic-related guidelines set by the Estonian Government will be followed on-site. Viinistu Restaurant with its delectable cuisine is open to visitors, and the ever-inspiring coastal nature is right there for us all to enjoy.

Our special thanks go to the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, who supports Biotoopia’s art programme. Biotoopia also thanks all other sponsors – Click & Grow, Wizon, Muulin, Tallinn Culture and Sports Department, Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, Estonian Ministry of Culture, the National Foundation of Civil Society, Tallinn Department of Environment and Communal Services, Viinistu Art Harbour and Von Krahl.