Dirk studied in Berlin, Paris, Helsinki (M.A. in “Information et Communication”, Sorbonne Nouvelle) and then directed several fiction films. Currently he is interested in combining research on contemporary arts with filmmaking.
Utopia in Estonian Visual Arts
in the 21st Century
To get an understanding of how much Estonian contemporary visual arts is related to society the research is using the concept of “Utopia” as a critical tool. Thomas More, the creator of the concept, has embedded an ambiguous statement already in the choice of the word “Utopia” which is a combination of “outopia” (no place) and “eutopia” (good place). The research attempts to clarify the concept, elaborate a new conceptual framework for the term “Utopia” and then interview Estonian artists in order to find out how much their work is informed by utopian concepts or impulses.
The leading questions are what kind of vision is guiding the contemporary artists? Can art help articulating a new utopian vision, developing a new collective imagery? What can be deducted from the existing Utopias or absence of Utopia? Ultimately this will lead to the question how much art can still articulate new visions of society, how much it can get people out of their self-induced passivity, how much it can stimulate the individual and collective imagination. In German, one of the translations of imagination is “Vorstellungskraft”, a concept I would like to develop in order to understand how art can help projecting new ideas. So the focus of the research will be more on the “eutopia” aspect of “Utopia”.
As a creative project, the results of the research will be visualized in a 60 minute documentary film, mixed with elements of animation film. Through a juxtaposition of blurry and un- (out of) focus documentary and interview footage with articulations of classic utopian visions shown in the animation sequences, the current state of ideas can be thus compared to some bold historic attempts to create different societies.