TYPA ResidencyArtist in residence

“NON DUCOR, DUCO” (Latin for “I am not led, I lead”) is a project that explores the power of calligraphy. The concept is to write the same sentence every day, using large paper and a giant brush. 30 days of exactly the same activities in the gallery’s limited space. Endless repetition emphasizes the phrase and reinforces the value of the text. The aim of the project is to pay attention to the basics in the chaotic and aggressive flood of information of our time. The exhibition was at the TYPA Gallery in January 2021.

NON DUCOR DUCO © 2020/21 Varvara Tokareva. Acrylic ink on paper. The installation consists of 67 parts, 1.4 × 2 m. created 10.12.20 – 06.01.21 in Tartu.

Varvara Tokareva was in the art residency at the end of 2020. Here she talks about her own experience:

I had the opportunity to live and work in Tartu, Estonia. In the summer, I applied for a residency program at TYPA – a museum focusing on paper, classical photography and printing techniques. I took part in a project that focused on modern calligraphy. The concept was to write the same sentence every day, using large sheets of paper and a giant brush. A few days after applying, I received an invitation to Tartu.

I liked Tartu, but it took me a few days to get to the city. I arrived here under pandemic constraints, so I spent the first 10 days in a guest apartment without getting to work in the city or museum. I decided not to waste those days because I knew that my residency would only last a month. I immediately started working and tested the walls of the apartment with my calligraphy works. After the quarantine ended, I uploaded the works on the larger papers to the TYPA gallery, where there was more space for them. I was a little sorry that I didn’t have enough time to get to know the TYPA presses and the dark, but I plan to come back to the next project and I hope to have another chance to get to know all the TYPA tools.

The guest apartment on Lutsu Street is nicely furnished and has everything you need for everyday life. It is located in the old town, close to all sights. There are great museums and galleries in Tartu. Certainly previous guest artists have shared the same enthusiasm, but hardly anyone else has been equally enthusiastic about Tartu antique shops. My favorite was Uuskasutuskeskus on Riga Street. There you will not find classic paintings or books, but many other fantastic objects from the Soviet era, such as vinyl records, magazines, postcards and tableware. Such things will soon become treasures from lost times, but they are still very affordable today.

I would like to say warm words to the whole TYPA team and thank them for their support and help during my stay here. I feel part of their family and can’t wait for TYPA to fulfill their artistic intentions. I wish TYPA a good year and I hope that many visitors and volunteers will soon arrive, bringing new and fresh air to museum life.

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