An international exhibition in Tallinn to shed new light on disability

The international exhibition of contemporary art, “Disarming Language: Disability, Communication, Rupture”, will open at the Tallinn Art Hall on 13 December, featuring works by 13 artists.

The curators of the exhibition, Christine Sun Kim and Niels Van Tomme, consider it important to break down the biases surrounding disability and have therefore selected works by disabled artists exhibited at the top galleries of the world, from the Guggenheim (New York) to the Tate (London).

“By exploring the wide-ranging practices of disabled artists, we ended up seeing a common thread of artists and artworks unpacking ideas relating to language and communication. The ways in which language frames disability both positively, as a way to connect and make visible, and negatively, by exclusion and erasure, are manifold,” Kim and Van Tomme said in a statement.

Overcoming obstacles

The exhibition is organised in cooperation with the Estonian Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the ARGOS centre for audio-visual arts in Brussels.

“Art is free, says the [Estonian] constitution. Yet, unfortunately not all have access to art,” Ülle Madise, the country’s Chancellor of Justice, said in a statement. “But how can we perceive Ants Laikmaa’s painting “View from Capri”, Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli music, or some message hidden in a sculpture, an embroidery or video art if the respective senses do not work?”

“How can we access an exhibition when there is only a narrow staircase leading to it and your only means of mobility is a wheelchair? This exhibition seeks to overcome quite a few of the obstacles considered insurmountable,” she added.

The exhibition will be opened on 13 December at 4pm and will remain open until 24 February 2020. It is accessible to people with reduced mobility, sight and hearing.

Cover: Andrea Crespo, “Inspo” (2018), one of the works exhibited at the exhibition.

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