Artist Marko Mäetamm’s Exhibition Offers Perspective on Relationships

Kaylie Jensen Maroon-News Staff

Marko Mäetamm’s exhibition, “Something Moving,” is open until October 2. Tours of the exhibition go through Clifford Gallery in Little Hall. The videos featured are remarkably poignant and thought-provoking. They focus on self-introspection, as well as relationships within families. Mäetamm’s work has been displayed within the United States and abroad, but his presence at Colgate goes behind Clifford Gallery, as he is here as the 2016 Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist in Residence.

Mäetamm’s videos are each unique. Some showcase live

action scenarios, like feet stepping in place or a couple conversing, but others are reminiscent of children’s books, with the screen flipping from one drawing with words to another. This honest and clear formatting adds to the complex and vulnerable content in each video. Each piece seems to admit something different about humanity and the way people relate. Scenarios like miscommunication within relationships, family and dissatisfaction with self are things most viewers can relate to but do not always know how to elucidate; Mäetamm’s work unravels these kinds of situations that people are circumspect to speak about.

Senior Sahara Zamudio has worked in Little Hall since she was a first-year at Colgate and has had the opportunity to interact with many of the artists that have exhibitions in the galleries on campus. However, Zamudio also knows Mäetamm as a professor,

because he is teaching her advanced studio art class this fall.

“He’s very open to you growing as an artist. The class

focuses on your own artwork and him cultivating what you want your art to say. His exhibition brings a really interesting perspective on family and relationships, and I think it’s intriguing how he uses his own family and his own experiences in the art. It’s super vulnerable and inviting to the viewer. I can only praise him for the amount of vulnerability that he allows so that the viewer can witness his own personal experiences,”

Zamudio said.

Entering the exhibit is startling, as black sheets covering the windows prevent light from filling the room. Sounds come from all over the room, creating an almost overwhelming energy. The videos run continuously, so it is difficult to know where to begin looking at each piece, yet this discombobulating display adds a sense of reality to the artwork. In life, people do not always meet at the beginning of a situation. They walk into relationships realizing they are entering into another human’s world and things will not reset from the start. Mäetamm’s exhibit reminds viewers that you may not be able to completely comprehend the meaning of a situation if you do not take the time to see it or hear about its beginnings.

“A Story of a Man Who is Living in the Woods” is perhaps the best example of this idea within the exhibit. The video flashes between pictures of a man without legs sitting in a wheelchair in the woods, and a black screen with white words telling the man’s tale. The piece reflects on what people are to do when life becomes difficult and unsolvable, and Mäetamm creates a hyperbolic scenario satirizing the reality of senseless expectations. The introduction to this piece alerts viewers of the man’s former life of comfort, so when viewers are shown all that he lost and how he found himself in the woods, much is added to the message.   

“Something Moving” is an experience so broad that it is hard to imagine anyone walking through the exhibit without finding at least one piece that lingers in their thoughts for days to come. It’s here until October 2, so come and let your curiosity get the best of you.