Visual arts festival Viljandi Tuled brings giant Ouroboros to Viljandi

The international open call, which gathered 133 ideas of installations around the world, has ended and the winning work - the idea of ​​the UV LAB group of Syrian-French architects, is wooden Ouroboros, an ancient symbol depicting a snake eating its own tail, will be built in Viljandi next February.

The collective UV LAB characterizes the installation as an innovative and thought-provoking work that explores the theme “Arts of Survival” through the Ouroboros symbol and is designed to create a sense of interconnectedness. According to the members of UV LAB, the work is based on the image of an ancient snake, which eating its own tail, symbolizes the continuity, renewal and cyclicity of the environment. Ouroboros, which will be six meters high and twelve meters wide, is mainly made from recycled and sustainably sourced wood, and the process of creating the installation itself follows the values ​​of sustainability. The winning team of the open call consists of three members living in France - Syrian artists khaled Alwarea, Layla Abdulkarim and Mike Shnsho, who have built various large-scale wooden installations in various European cities.

Kaisa Ailt from the organizing team of Viljandi Tuled says that the winning work was selected unanimously by the jury. “Through its striking visual presence, the work promises viewers an experience that encourages reflection on the permanence of the environment and the planet, and the viewer's own connection to them. We were looking for such a large, large-scale work that fits the theme of Tartu 2024 exactly, and we found it," explains Ailt and adds that there was rather a heated discussion when selecting three small-scale works. "Because there were so many ideas sent to open call, we all had our favorites in the jury. However, I believe that through discussion and several rounds, we determined the three best works, which all complement eachother and are different enough that they could all charm the audience in their own way," says Kaisa Ailt .

Top three of the smaller works are the work "PAV_01" by the Spanish collective NA.B3 Collective, which depicts large spider webs between trees in nature, the ice brick sculpture "Perpetual" by the artist duo Arcane - Ukrainian architect and artist Alexandra Polyakova and Italian architect Stefano Dal Piva, as well as the work “Future hybridizations” by Spanish artist Marta Cartu, which is perfect for indoors, where the concept painted on fabrics is highlighted using UV lamps.

The six-member jury included representative of Viljandi town, Kristi Kangilaski, board member of the Estonian Lighting Designers Association Mariliis Kundla, representative of Tartu 2024 Hele Priimets and members of the festival's organizing team: Karolin Tamm, Kaisa Ailt, Annika Vihmann. Viljandi Tuled, which is part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 program, had open call to find works that has not been publicly exposed before, are resistant to the February weather and is inspired by the theme "Arts of Survival".The budget of the large-scale installation is up to €25,000, and three smaller winning installations have a budget of €2,000 each.

Starting in 2020, Viljandi Tuled, moving towards greater and greater artistic ambitions, is a platform where different media meet: architecture, art, music, multimedia and light. Among the leaders of the festival are artists closely related to Viljandi and cultural organizers. Open Call of the festival Viljandi Tuled, which will take place next year, is part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 programline “Science and Technology”.


NA.B3 Collective:

Duo Arcane:

Marta Cartu:

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