Evelyn Grzinich and John Grzinich

The Box


The Box is an installation by Evelyn and John Grzinich, founders of MoKS, a non-profit artist-run project space in Estonia situated in the rural community of Mooste. The title of the work is a reference to the iconic film noir thriller Kiss Me Deadly (1955), where a private detective becomes involved in a dangerous game surrounding an object akin to a Pandora’s Box containing radioactive material, which should never be opened. In the exhibition space, the artists’ luminescent Box is a far more innocent and less ominous object. It contains items that represent the work of the MoKS contemporary arts space that, by the accounts of its founders, should have never happened – in a figurative sense. The artists observe that while considering the art field prides itself on openness and diversity, it is surprising to note by contrast, that most activity within the field of contemporary art occurs within a highly concentrated geographic area. So what was it that allowed an arts organisation to sprout up in a small village in the rural southeast part of Estonia? And what was it that inspired and motivated artists to travel from across the world to visit this remote arts centre, and contribute to the contents of The Box? Was it money or power? Was it prestige? Or was it something more subtle, even immaterial? Was it imagination or ideas? Or the possibility to contribute to something that seemed unique, existing outside the conventional frames of contemporary artistic production and representation? The Box represents a hopeful optimism that accompanies the risks and challenges of any social or cultural experiment that defies the boundaries of social conventions.