Composite Countryside is an altarpiece made of paper collages mounted on a plywood and timber structure, stabilised by two concrete bricks. The installation depicts informal bricolage spaces in the sparse Estonian countryside, where functions, activities and their spaces, which are becoming increasingly explicit in urban realms, are significantly more intertwined and implicit, loose and blurred. The representation of naive collages and seemingly ad-hoc structure is inspired by medieval altarpieces where complex narratives full of rich symbolics are presented in visually clear and direct tales. The installation is based on research done at Delft University of Technology and edited for the essay Composite Countryside published in The Baltic Atlas (Sternberg Press: Berlin, 2016).
The Baltic Pavilion was curated by Kārlis Bērziņš, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zariņa, Jonas Žukauskas
Publication: The Baltic Atlas
Beyond functional and ecological systems and offering much-appreciated vistas, rural landscapes are environments - the settings for human action, the everyday surrounding for their inhabitants. Their spatial qualities initiate a certan way of life and are effectively changed and shifted by the same way of life. Their appearance and quality are in a reciprocal relationship with how they are perceived and how they are treated.
Landscape as habitat means the evaporation of landscape into everyday place and milieu. For the inhabitant landscape is rarely a distant scenic veil. Landscapes are experienced in a general state of distraction, through habit and use, instead of vision alone. With most actions impinged to it, landscape becomes the basic heritage - its character is directly subjected to human agency.
On the Estonian countryside, dualities such as individual or collective, private or public, strategic or scenic become less rigid. They are overruled by fluid spatial and social dynamics that are implicitly but collectively understood. It is their iteration that is central to the shaping of space. Rather than always depending on reaching out to the center, solutions are found in increased fluidity in softened oppositions.