Karel Koplimets



The newly commissioned video installation by Karel Koplimets depicts car enthusiasts who gather every Thursday evening at the parking lot of the Ülemiste shopping centre in Tallinn. These people form a subculture who show off their tuned cars and loud audio systems, organise illegal street races, drift, burn out tires and make doughnuts with their cars. The events attract a lot of audiences and emit the ambiance of a festival, rather than just a spontaneous gathering.

This phenomenon raises questions related to climate change and environmental problems. Although car enthusiasts are a marginal group of people, they characterise society’s fondness of cars in general. In 2022, Estonia was in the 17th place in the world based on the number of cars per capita, with 715 cars per 1000 people. This number continues to rise – and the same tendency is observed in the rest of Europe.

On the other hand, this work is a study, which tries to understand and analyse the functioning mechanisms behind the subculture. Hobby cars can also be seen as a means of self-expression. They usually have some specific theme or source of inspiration for the elaborated design rendered to the finest detail. As an extension of personal identity and body, cars continue to carry loaded meanings related to masculinity, individuality, speed, pollution and power.