A short interview with Raul Järg about TAB 2019 Curatorial Open Call

SIRP interview with Raul Järg chairman of Estonian Centre of Architecture, about Tallinn Architecture Biennale and the curatorial open call for TAB 2019.

Read the interview below and join us at the public briefing for the curatorial open call for TAB 2019 that will take place on 27th of March at 4.30 pm at the Estonian Centre of Architecture. Live broadcast will be streamed on TAB FB page. TAB 2019 Curatorial Competition public briefing event

The 5th Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) will take place in 2019 and the curatorial open call to find the next organiser is currently ongoing. Raul Järg, Director of the Estonian Centre of Architecture, talks here about the potential curator’s tasks and necessary resources?

The roll of the curator is of key importance in the execution of TAB; all the biennales have been shaped by the curator as they expressed their chosen emphasis. The task of the curator is to provide the main theme of the biennale and to come up with the concept for the curated exhibition, the Vision Competition and the symposium. The curator can also contribute to putting together the satellite programme – the aim of this is to provide a wider discussion concerning architecture and can be connected to the main theme, but doesn’t have to follow it strictly.

As a whole, TAB is a longer chain of events with a pre- and post-programme, not simply a four-day festival. The more there are events before and after, the better the biennale fulfils its aims. It is a laboratory for experimenting with ideas to understand the present and to look to the future. This is a wonderful opportunity for curators to declare their view of the world and to develop international collaboration.

The previous TAB had foreign curators for the first time. What did you learn from this experience?
We were very glad that with TAB 2017 we could collaborate with Claudia Pasquero and her team, who brought the world’s top specialists in the field to Estonia. Thanks to the foreign curator the biennale received wider attention than in previous years and new audiences and participants came to Tallinn.

TAB wants to be an international biennale, although the theme should take into account the Estonian setting and address local architects as well as a wider architecture public. The biennale should not simply bring foreign architects to Estonia, but also contribute to the local scene. Estonian architects should not have to look on from a distance as if through a display window, but participate in the creation of the biennale.

One part of TAB is always the Tallinn Vision Competition, which explores the urban space. Is the theme and focus chosen by the curator or the City Government?

Over the years, the Vision Competition has been one of the most important parts of TAB, the initial assignments of which are set out in collaboration with the city of Tallinn. The decision about the extent to which the Vision Competition is tied to the main theme and how is made by the curators. The chosen theme should be important in an international context as well as for Tallinn.