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New artworks activating public space at Holm Park in Tartu

Tartu Kunstimuuseumi pressiteade

30-meter long track with a red EPDM cover Photo: Mana Kaasik

3 June / Two new site-specific artworks have been added to the city centre of Tartu, inviting people to spend time in and creatively engage with the public space. The works located at Holm Park and the adjacent Shaté Dance School car park include a path titled “Attempt to Walk without Rhythm” by the choreographer William Forsythe and a seating platform named Istla by the artists Simon and Tom Bloor. They are part of the Tartu Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition “The Secrets of the Leaning Building” and Tartu 2024 main programme project “Creative Connections”.

The internationally celebrated choreographer William Forsythe created a new choreographic object specifically for the Tartu public space to activate an area of Holm Park between the Kaarsild Bridge and the Shaté Dance School. It is a 30-metre long track with a red EPDM cover and a text instruction: “ATTEMPT TO WALK WITHOUT ANY RHYTHM WHATSOEVER”.

The track is a part of an extensive series of choreographic objects and instructional works by Forsythe, which highlight physical presence and movement in given contexts. The author writes that “Choreographic Objects are discreet systems that require activation, through either conscious or unconscious competence. The objects are not intended to generate their meaning exclusively through visual means… .” Instead, the works invite people to engage with them physically and, through this contact, may offer an unexpected opportunity for self-reflection and expression.

Istla by Simon and Tom Bloor is located in the Shaté Dance School car park, right next to Forsythe’s track. The work is composed of an irregular collage of larch decking modules, gravel, tire seating, planters, plants and other materials. It is the artists’ response to the history of the site and feedback from the dance school students regarding the surrounding areas and what they felt was missing. The young people craved attractive and safe places where they could relax at any time, socialise and engage in various activities. The new platform is a proposal for such a place and can continue to change and adopt various functions. The name Istla was created by the school’s students and is inspired by the history of the area – the former Holm island – and the function of the platform as a place to sit and rest. 

The works also provide a great setting for various outdoor learning activities. All of those interested are invited to come and check out the first lesson, which will take place with the Shaté Dance School students on 5 June at 5:15 p.m.

You can find more information about the artists and the upcoming exhibition HERE.

The collaboration between the authors, the “Creative Connections” project team and the partner organisations was arranged as part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main programme. Courtesy of the authors and with the landowners’ permission, the works will remain in these locations for at least a few years.

The Tartu Art Museum, in collaboration with the Tartu city government will be responsible for the maintenance of the track and the Shaté Dance School will be responsible for the upkeep of the platform. The track was built by Lars Laj Playgrounds and the platform was built by Ferdstern Ltd.

The project is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia Education and Youth Board (Harno), the Shaté Dance School, the Tartu 2024 Foundation, the Tartu Art Museum and the Tartu city government.

Last changed 03.06.2024