Where are you?

Liis Vares

Live archive
  • Author:Liis Vares
  • Technical assistance:Taavet Jansen (digital space), Marko Odar (the swing), Magnus Andre (physical space)
  • Virtual space:Kristjan Jansen
  • Producer:e⁻lektron
  • Project manager:Eneli Järs
  • Partner:Baltoscandal
  • Photos:Alana Proosa ja Epp Kubu
  • Special thanks:Hannes Vares, Virve Vares

Liis: I came here a few years ago just to be. I had visited this place before, but this time I came to a place where there was no function, people had left. This space simply was, holding things and time, without expectations or demands. It fascinated me. I needed it. That's how we started being together. The space began to guide and mirror me, and I started to notice and follow. Everything that is here has already been and is yet to come. Now you are here too. Welcome!

This apartment is a typical living space built on 1973 with all conveniences and where every room has its certain function that has for decades allocated the rhythm and ways of being and moving for the people that have lived here. This apartment has its past and its future, but in our focus is this current time and the people who meet here during July 6-9.

Liis Vares is a choreographer and artist. In the center of her practice is the contemporary body. Attention is her ‘dancer’ with whom she dances in black box, white cube and on grayscale online platform. She plays with borderlines between physical and mental, between personal and social. By following her research question: how does it feel/what does it mean to be in a body, she is diving more and more into transmedial spheres of art and being.

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Virtual window

On July 6-9, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., a virtual window to apartment 34 here on the elektron website was opened. Every visitor of the physical space could change the view of the room (by changing the direction of the camera eye and it's relation to the room) and the virtual visitors could capture the physical space and their own presence through snapshots. Some examples are here in this video.
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The map

Liis found this card about a month before the opening of the choreographic space "Where Are You?" in the same apartment. This is a map of Rakvere that belonged to the previous owner of the apartment and dates back to World War II. The text written on the back of the card ends with the words: "I hope that the next person who receives a card from me will not have to pass it on at the cost of blood."

воля (in Ukrainian) - will, liberty.

Liis once had her own swing in her backyard. It was the place where she went in search of inner balance, to taste the feeling of freedom. The swing gave momentum and strength, but at the same time calmed her. When Liis arrived at apartment 34 in the fall of 2020, there was also a swing area with swings. The swings were poor, made of plastic, but they were there. Liis didn't go swinging, but she watched this potential from the window, the boards swaying in the wind, and it gave her momentum and strength. During the year, one swing was broken, then another. Finally, only one rope swayed in the wind. The potential had been taken by force, also the war in Ukraine had started. If until now Liis had been observing the space ,than now it was clear that something must be done! A monument to freedom had to be made and poured in concrete. Let time wear and test, but no one can take by force!

A space without a use

''I have several times tried to think of an apartment in which there would be a useless room, absolutely and intentionally useless. It wouldn't be a junkroom, it wouldn't be an extra bedroom, or a corridor, or a cubby-hole, or a corner. It would be a functionless space. It would serve nothing, relate to nothing. For all my efforts, I found it impossible to follow this idea through to the end. Language itself, seemingly, proved unsuited to describing this nothing, this void, as if we could only speak of what is full, useful and functional.'' Georges Perec, ''Species of Spaces and Other Pieces''


Web installation by Sander Saarmets and Jan Kaus in the closet of apartment 34. "Forget" makes space, not takes space. "Forget" brings you in a present moment, it does with thought and imagination what is needed to move forward, not backwards. Visit FORGET online installation here: [UNUSTA](https://unusta.elektron.art)

Anthropologies of space

In 2020 eˉlektron started an experimental project Anthropologies of Space, in which the participating artists deal with issues of man and space. Even in the global context, the contemporary cultural space is in a new delicate situation. As cultural theorists have documented, contemporary precarity is linked to a broader range of technological, social, and political changes. Traditional "grand narratives" and values ​​associated with the Enlightenment and the old Western moral order are also constantly being called into question. Our traditional space of values ​​has to constantly explain and make sense of itself, to stand up for itself. Artists Daria Khrystych, Liis Vares, Bohdana Korohod and Inga Salurand focus on liminality. The concept of liminal spaces is familiar from architecture - spaces whose function is limited, whose role is to take the user from one place to another. These spaces are not for staying or being in - lobbies, corridors, streets, highways and abandoned spaces. Transitional spaces are also psychological spaces - spaces where we mentally prepare ourselves to consider what is on the other side. Big personal changes are also transition spaces - a child becomes an adult and leaves home, you are fired or you are caught in the emotional whirlwind of a divorce. In these spaces - both in a stairwell and in court - one is in limbo - neither here nor there. Transitional spaces can and must be treated as a material, semiotic and psychological whole. The 2022 Anthropologies of Space had their premieres at the Baltoscandal festival in different locations in the city of Rakvere.

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