Open Call for Artist Submissions: Estonian Pavilion Exposition at the 57th Venice Art Biennale


The Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia is pleased to announce the open call for artist projects, for the Estonian pavilion exhibition at the 57thVenice Biennale. The Venice Biennale is the world’s oldest and largest international art forum, the 57th Biennale will be the eleventh time that Estonia has participated with its own pavilion. 

The organiser of the Estonian exposition is the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia. Estonia’s participation at the Venice Biennale is funded by the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Submissions should be carefully conceived contemporary art exhibition proposals that include: a clearly expressed exhibition concept, sketch of the exhibition layout, production budget, timeline of work to be carried out, a concept for the accompanying exhibition catalogue including a description of its contents, and a list   of the individuals who would work on and be involved  in the project.

Terms and conditions for participation:

1. The project must have a curator. Both solo and group exhibitions qualify.

  • One of the applicants must be an Estonian citizen or resident.

3. The deadline for developing the exhibition concept and its context in a submission in writing containing all of the above in a clear draft proposal of at least 3,600 characters is 1 April 2016 at noon. All of the materials must be submitted to the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia ( and/or 6 Vabaduse Square, Tallinn). Late entries will not be accepted. As the projects will be evaluated by an international panel, the project proposal must be submitted in two languages, Estonian and English.

Project proposals should meet the following criteria:

1. An ambitious exhibition project with a high level of integral artistic merit and thinking that is original and meaningful in the context of both local and international art.

2. Budget and technical specification for the project, including:

a) an overview of materials and equipment needed for the project i.e. exhibition production plan taking into account any relevant changes in circumstance.

b) a budget calculation based on actual price estimates.

A total of 20,000 euros has been granted from the state budget for the production costs of the exposition (production of the works to be displayed, purchase of installation materials and exhibition supplies, equipment hire or purchase, etc.). If the project budget exceeds this sum, applicants should seek private and/or co-funding possibilities and specify these in their proposal. Please note these monies provided are for production only.

3. An exhaustive list of the names and written confirmation (including consenting signatures) from all artists, curators, designers and catalogue co-authors who would be the competition beneficiaries, should the submitted project win. In addition, please provide CVs of the previous experience of all participants in the project and a short overview of their contribution to the exhibition project. If other partners are involved, please provide a description of their input.

4. A work plan for the execution of the project, specifying the stages of production by date.

5. A spatial concept for the exhibition that is as detailed as possible, based on the site used for the two previous Estonian pavilions on the premises of Palazzo Malipiero.

Projects will be evaluated according to the following:

1. Relevance of the exhibition concept in the context of contemporary art.

2. International scope and relevance of the exhibition concept.

3. Project’s contribution to the Estonian art scene. 

4. Expected spatial impact of the project.

5. Professionalism and previous experience of the project team.

6. The feasibility of the execution of the project (in terms of budget and scale)

 Legal relations

1. The CCAE is the representative of the Estonian exhibition at the Venice Biennale and it will tdirect the organisational and technical aspect of the exhibition.

2. The relationships between the curator, artist and the CCAE shall be set forth in a corresponding contract in which the rights, responsibilities and obligations of each party shall be specified.

3. The competition is public, meaning that, upon submitting their project, all participants must consent to their participation in the project with their signature. 

4. Only the winner of the competition shall be announced, and the other projects shall remain confidential.

5. For the execution of the successful project, the winner shall cooperate with the CCAE. As the organiser, the CCAE retain the right to put forward subsequent proposals in relation to the development of the project and  the involvement of partners.

6. The CCAE reserves the right to make changes to the terms and conditions of the competitionand to the information relating to the execution of the project, provided that they are objectively justified or arise from reasons independent of the CCAE. 


  • The applications received will undergo an initial verification within three business days of the deadline and, if necessary, the applicants will be asked to present additional materials or further clarifications on submitted materials within two business days of the forwarding of the verification results to the applicant.
  • We advise that applications be submitted in good time before the deadline for preliminary consultation and for making necessary improvements in a timely manner.
  • From the applications received that qualify for the competition, the CCAE board and director, a representative from the Ministry of Culture and two foreign experts working in the international art scene shall select the winning entry in April 2016.
  • The winning entry will be publicly announced in the first half of May if not before. The panel is not obligated to provide feedback on projects that are not selected.

The 57thVenice Art Biennale will take place from May to November 2017.

Ground plans and photographs of the premises are available at

In January 2016, the CCAE will hold a briefing session to share   information on previous outcomes and experiences in relation to the production, communications and budgetary issues of the Estonian pavilion at the Venice Biennale and to answer questions regarding the planning of the exhibition in the pavilion.  This session is free and open to all. Please follow the information on the CCAE homepage at

Questions and additional information:

Maria Arusoo

Commissioner of the Estonian pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia

Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia

6 Vabaduse Square

10146 Tallinn

Phone: 631 40 50