2011/06 Museum Files I: Collected Principles, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia


June 19 – July 17, 2011


Opening Reception on Saturday, June 18th at 6 pm


The collection of EKKM, which, like every living collection, is continually supplemented is however not an ordinary public or private collection, for both conceptual reasons related to the institutional practices of EKKM and purely material reasons related to the lack of money. Firstly, EKKM has never had any budget for collecting and EKKM also has relatively little depository space for storing the collection, not to mention the proper conditions for preservation. Yet, we didn`t want to get the artists’ works for free or to engage in blackmail like the Soviet-era “art beggars”. Therefore, EKKM collects primarily, but not exclusively, intangibly — at the idea level. The collection is a conceptual set of works, ideas and matter, the majority of which is acquired through symbolic exchanges if not the artists have decided to donate the works. In many cases, the artists have been paid with resources that are detached from ordinary economic activities by using a barter system, or by using agreement that are reached for acquiring the works of art in some other way.

The acquisition of works can be roughly divided into the following three groups:

a) through a conceptual transaction between the artist and institution;’
b) strategic commissions by the institution;
c) donations and deposits.


The exhibition titled /Collected Principles/, during which the works collected during EKKM’s first four years of operation will be exhibited for the first time, will try to demonstrate the manner of acquisition along with the works of art. By making the movement of symbolic conceptual capital between the institution and artist visible, the connections and relationships that are usually hidden from the public will also become visible. At the same time, the act of acquiring a work of art can also be interpreted as an artistic act — an institution’s “answer” to the artist; as a meta-artistic interpretation which now and hereafter will be an indivisible part of the work of art.


press release was compiled by
Anders Härm
EKKM Board

more info:
tel: +372 50 84 570
e-mail: anders@kunstihoone.ee