Journeys can sometimes be life altering. Over the atmospheric and geopolitical heat of the summer of 2022, curators Corina L. Apostol & Kristaps Ancāns invited eight artists, four based in Estonia and four in Latvia to travel across the Baltic coast to discover each other and create this exhibition together. Working in collaboration, each one brings their personal approach to art practice and co-habitation of the exhibition space at Tallinn Art Hall Gallery. The exhibition I came here to be alone. I also came here to be alone draws inspiration from a 1959 film “Baltic Express” by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, which revolves around the communication between two strangers, forced to co-exist in a confined condition – a claustrophobic world of a tight train cabin. A train journey is a catalyst which tests what kind of chemistry can be created in unstable and uncertain conditions.
This exhibition reflects the many interactions, stories and intertwined experiences that open a certain void that has exploded in our societies during the pandemic and current crises, revealing what had been masked by an emptiness that still lingers. How should we act, how can we trust each other, what does this new crisis-era culture look like? Turbulences can sometimes open new ways of approaching things, as we no longer need to follow canons that have been built beforehand. Have the “new us” developed the skills or even some superpowers to cope with transformation or are our levels of loss and grief quietly rising? How do we deal with what has happened and the present challenges, while still waiting for the train to arrive at a new destination?