„Dark Land“, Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, 2010
In the beginning of 2010 October, Estonian Chamber of Commerce announced the public of launch of the project “Talents home”. The purpose of the project, is to call back to Estonia the youth who are studying and working in foreign countries. Project officials, financed by the European Union Social fund through the Government Office, have announced to restore and gain thousands of contacts with the Estonians abroad, yet they have also claimed to “bring home” up to 25 talents. Less under discussion is the project in cooperation with international organisation Dream Foundation “It`s not too late”, which main goal is to reduce the contacts to reside-, work-, or study abroad.
Artist Maarit Murka project is analysing the first of the two. Studying, working and living in Estonia, Maarit Murka has too often had to answer to the question- why is she making her creation in Estonia instead of some foreign capitol. Is a person “left behind”, who has not felt the urgent need to leave, is talent or not? What are the issues giving main reasons to leave? Artist has stated the concept in a short interview:
What do You think is the main reason to call “talents” back home and how to define a “talent”?
MM: Its really good to hear that people here are still caring about this and are putting the thoughts together to stop the export of “brains of Estonia”. But does the campaign deal with the issue directly- I do not think so. It is a pose. People are dealing with form instead dealing with content. A phrase from the goal of project “… so that we could together import as many talented countrymen and to lift our countries economy to rise”. My first idea is, that for some reason those talents, have left Estonia, and have not wanted to return, what is the reason for that? Who is talent? This is the key issue and my concern. Have there been composed a test, that everybody could take and see if they are talented or not? Looking at the statistics compiled by the project participants and staff, then probably everyone in any field of business and type of education, is a talent. “We are also inviting to join all the Estonians residing abroad, who are interested in work or cooperation with local employers, living here in Estonia and also abroad” ?
If You are living here in Estonia, do you feel to get as much attention as to the “talents” who are being summoned back to homeland from abroad?
MM: To me this question has never been agenda. There is no feeling me vs them. It rather seems to be a campaign necessary for someone or something. I rather feel that not enough attention is being given to those abroad. It seems as its mutual- local countrymen seem to “forget” the talents, who have left their homeland and the people who have left tend to bitter and burn all the bridges.
For which reasons would You leave? At the exhibition is a series of paintings with keywords written in red on the front of the paintings- could the reasons be climate, egoism, envy for You?
MM: Precisely those five reasons are the ones why I would leave. They are lined up also with order of importance, this is giving an artist perspective of the main descriptions of local conditions. But I have not left. I always get surprised when people call me and first things they ask- are You in Estonia? Like its expected for me to migrate and not to be here. But I like it here. There is nothing to keep me here, but is somewhere better, than somewhere else?
Where is the home of a talent?
MM: This seems to be a trick- question, but I’ll point out what comes to my mind. When people are speaking about talents, then for me this is at first about profession and career. I don’t think they mean talented housewives. Therefore, a home of a talent should not be connected to any specific location or country. Talent should and could be cosmopolitan. Talent should be there, where it feels most comfortable and safe. And by that I also mean certain discomfort, what is absolutely necessary every once and a while, to perform Your work and creation professionally and at Your best.