Eva Mustonen and Ingel Vaikla to take part in the WIELS residency programme in 2021


Estonian artists Eva Mustonen and Ingel Vaikla have been selected for the 2021 artist-in-residence programme at the renowned WIELS art centre in Brussels. The opportunity for two Estonian artists to take part in the residency is provided by WIELS and the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Mustonen and Vaikla were selected via an open call amongst 11 applicants. “The standard of the Estonian artists applying to WIELS residency programme was high,” said Simon Thompson, jury member and one of the mentors at the WIELS residency programme. “This made for a complex and enjoyable selection process. The two artists which were selected were certainly the ones which offered a high degree of nuance in relation to each other and in relation to the prospective group that they will meet during their time on the residency. ”

The residency at the WIELS art centre in Brussels is one of the most prestigious residencies in Europe. “The WIELS residency is special in its duration, half a year, during which the artists receive a monthly stipend, equivalent to culture workers’ minimum wage, they are provided with a flat and a studio is Brussels, as well as an opportunity to receive feedback from the programme’s mentors. Longer residencies that also offer financial support allow creating stability for artists at least to some degree in the current situation,” says Maria Arusoo, the director of the CCA.

Previously, Estonian artists Paul Kuimet and Jaanus Samma (2018), Anna Škodenko and Tõnis Saadoja (2019), and Tanja Muravskaja (spring 2020) have taken part in the same programme and currently, the residency in Brussels is hosting Anu Vahtra.

Eva Mustonen (1986) combines textile techniques and everyday objects in her work to tell personal stories. Her works can be viewed from the perspective of feminist art, where often the private is imbued with the political. Mustonen’s exhibition “Do come in, the door is open!” together with Edith Karlson and Mary Read Kelley was on view until June 2020 at the contemporary art gallery at Kumu Art Museum.

Eva Mustonen said she decided to apply for the residency programme, as she wishes to receive more feedback for her work. While in WIELS she has plans to continue working with ideas regarding home, fears and uncertainty provoked by constantly moving house and life as a freelancer.

Ingel Vaikla (1992) is a visual artist researching the relationship between photo, video and architecture. Vaikla is currently completing her PhD at PXL-MAD School of Arts Hasselt. Her video works have been exhibited internationally at exhibitions and festivals and she has curated several artist film programmes. In 2020 Ingel Vaikla presented her solo exhibition “Shapes and Distances” (curated by Laura Toots) at Beursschouwburg in Brussels, a continuation of her solo show “You have become the space” (EKKM, 2018).

During the residency Vaikla will be researching the collapse of the great Modernist utopia, as exemplified by the Belgian industrial revolution. In WIELS the artist hopes to continue working with film and photo archives and explore new ways of applying analogue techniques.

The residency of Estonian artists in WIELS is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture.

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