Estonia 100: Tanja Muravskaja "A Book About a Soldier"

On December 19 at 6pm Tanja Muravskaja will present her artist book "A Book About a Soldier" at Puänt book store in Tallinn. There will be warm drinks and gingerbread, and the book will be sold with a special price of 12 EUR.


“A Book About a Soldier” — a series of portrait photographs of the NATO soldiers, who serve in Estonia, which has been shot by artist Tanja Muravskaja in Estonia, at the military base in Tapa, during 2016–2018. For the first time ever, a part of the portraits was on display at her personal exhibition titled “Hero” in Tartu Art House on 19.10–12.11.2017, and the entire series was shown at the international exhibition of curator Katerina Gregos “The State is not a Work of Art” in Tallinn Art Hall on 17.02–04.29.2018.

“A Book About a Soldier” tells us about the ultimate power of the soldier figure. The soldiers have something great about them, because they create a link between time and the immortality. We can see a democratic soldier in peaceful Europe and a belligerent soldier in hot spots around the world. The soldier figure seems a metaphor for the modern world, the modern age, and humaneness.

Being a continuation of the artistic research of Muravskaja, “A Book About a Soldier” updates the previously raised questions about the relationship between national identity and national defense. “Through it, the artist infers that the region is seeking new narratives in the absence of its Soviet past.

Muravskaja highlights the important role of NATO soldiers in the Baltic region, since the presence of NATO bases is seen as a necessary tool to protect the national sovereignty of the Estonian nation. How can Estonia combine and construct its modern, post-Soviet national identity while being reliant on the military might of its multicultural allies in NATO and the economic power of the European Union?” (Quoted from: The State is not a Work of Art [Exhibition catalogue]. Ed. Katerina Gregos. Tallinn: Tallinn Art Hall, 2018.)

About the book:
Tanja Muravskaja
A Book About a Soldier
© Photo: Tanja Muravskaja
© Essay: Gustav Kalm
Introduction: Tanja Muravskaja
Graphic design: Sandra Kosorotova, Aadam Kaarma
Typeface: Beausite Classic by Fatype
Printed by: Tallinn Book Printers
Print run: 300
Paper: G-Print 150 g
Pages: 48
We thank: Stefan Tarnowski, Elnara Taidre
ISBN: 978-9949-88-878-8
Printed in Estonia

The publication of this book has been supported by the Estonia 100 art program.