During the darkest time of the year, in November and December, three artists, Anica Huck (GER), Gary Markle (CAN/EE) and Laura Põld (EE), begin an artistic residency in Southern Estonia as a part of the European Union “Creative Europe” platform “MagiC Carpets”. The initiative unites 20 European cultural organisations that provide opportunities for emerging artists to create together with local artists and communities. European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 joined the platform in 2022.
Inspired by the Tartu 2024 artistic concept Arts of Survival, the first year of the residency programme focuses on the unique Southern Estonian smoke sauna tradition. The custom, or “suidsusannakombõ”, as it is known in the local dialect, is an important part of the everyday life of the region. In 2014, UNESCO inscribed the Võrumaa smoke sauna tradition on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The smoke sauna tradition, passed down from generation to generation, will act as a shared platform for the artists to reflect on a world haunted by modernity. The residency deals with the human necessity for ritualistic cleansing and healing, both physically and mentally. Keywords such as (de)growth, progress, excess, ecology, humans and non-humans will form the starting point for artistic explorations.
The residency programme is open for a wide range of artistic disciplines and practices including visual and performing arts, multimedia, architecture and artistic research.
Participating artists: Anica Huck (GER), Gary Markle (CAN/EE), Laura Põld (EE)
Curator and contact: Ann Mirjam Vaikla, firstname.lastname@example.org