Anu Vahtra’s works investigate found spatial situations. Initiated by the architectural characteristics as well as historical and contextual background of a certain site, they often focus on the exhibition format and specifics of an exhibition space but also address issues concerning urban space. She composes both physical and photographic space as if through the camera, bearing in mind distinctive vantage points. What’s important is that the focus of attention is not so much on what her work depicts but rather on how it relates to and is displayed in a specific context.
In Goodbye air pollution, the future is here, Vahtra’s interest in exhibition space meets her fascination with urban space. A series of wall-like structures built out of discarded materials, collected from various demolition and construction sites in the area around P/////AKT, have been arranged in a formation dividing and organising the space. They host excerpts from the process of observing and documenting a city constantly under construction, including photography and video as well as a variety of debris from Brussels and Amsterdam.
Vahtra has participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, and has had solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, New York, Prague and Tallinn. She has been nominated for the Kristjan Raud Prize (2015) and the Sadolin Art Prize (2014); in 2015 she won the Köler Prize 2015 grand prix, and in 2017 received the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Foundation for Fine and Applied Arts. In 2017 Vahtra was an artist in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme (ISCP) in New York and in 2020 at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. She is currently based in Brussels.
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