After three exhibitions in regional towns since 2014, the kmS team resolved to pause in 2017 to consider a number of questions facing the project.
- Is an ambitious event like kmS possible in the Estonian context?
- Is organising kmS as an annual event too demanding for a group of freelancers with no institutional backing?
- What would work best in the local context?
- Does anyone actually want an event like kmS?
The first question hints at the problem of securing stable financial support, but also refers to the fact that the pool of appropriately qualified arts workers willing to commit to such a grass-roots initiative is limited. So the team could clearly see that these problems needed to be considered in any rethinking of the kmS model.
The effort involved in organising an international event of this kind outside the security of an institution cannot be overestimated. Anyone who has experienced this kind of project will understand that year by year the fatigue becomes compounded, and so after the 2016 exhibition in Rakvere it became obvious that the regularity of the event should be adjusted to make it biennial. And a more modest exhibition project would also be better in the context of other restrictions.
In early 2017, kmS was approached by the organisers of Tallinn Art Week to participate in their outdoor event in Tallinn. We had always said to ourselves and anyone that asked that we would never go to the capital since our main thing was that we focused on regional towns. In addition, we also said we were having a rest in 2017. But this event allowed us to have a small manageable outing that would nevertheless have the potential to reach a large audience in a few days. We therefore presented a selection of 5 artworks from previous exhibitions on Vabaduse väljak in the centre of Tallinn over three days in June 2017.
This event also allowed us to have an art fair style booth with information on kmS, and we printed a small but stylish pocket catalogue that people could easily take home as a souvenir. In three days our wonderful team of volunteers handed out more than 1000 catalogues in two languages, and the booth and the artworks attracted considerable attention. It had definitely been worth the effort.
In the aftermath of Tallinn Art Week and through the subsequent summer months, we increasingly received positive feedback about the Tallinn event, but also about the previous years of kmS in regional towns, and this confirmed that we should work forward by changing kmS to a biennial event and adjusting the model to suit the limitations outlined above. Much more has happened since then, and to find out about the details, please visit the “Exhibition” section of this website.