Featuring works made in the past few years, “Skinship” originally started as a research project in 2016 at Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The exhibition that includes text pieces, media works, ceramics and custom-made furniture, focuses on the theme of emotional intelligence, and a sense of pleasure that electrifies the universe.

Rybakova sees sexuality as a call to a complex inner life, a need for connection beyond one’s own body. Once our hearts start beating at around the 22nd day of our existence, they give the first visible signs of life, and therefore of a deep inner complexity that is hard to define with words. No other emotion gives a more heightened feeling than the sense of sexual energy that links us with everything that is.

“If we could remember our life in the mother’s womb, it should be seen as a supremely pleasurable experience in the aquatic environment. The enigmatic world outside mother is reachable only via sound vibrations that travel through the amniotic fluid surrounding us, the amniotic sac and the layers of the mother’s body,” she says in the sound work that also lends the show its title, and which ends with: “The paradise was lost, once the time had come to part from the Nirvana-like existence and to open up to the wholly new territory of experience and adaptation. However, the memory of prenatal life stays inside our body, it is written in every cell that developed inside and grew with us.”

The exhibition is part of the main programme of the 17th Tallinn Print Triennial and is co-organised by the Foundation Tallinn Print Triennial and Tallinn Art Hall.

Photo: Karel Koplimets, Tallinn Art Hall