Open call

OPEN CALL for the exposition of the Estonian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale

DEADLINE FOR PROJECTS: 12 April 2018 at 12.00 EET

The Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia (CCAE) is announcing the open call for the exhibition projects for the Estonian Pavilion at the 58th International Venice Biennale.

The Venice Biennale is the oldest and largest international art event. Estonia is participating with a national pavilion for the 12th time. The Estonian exposition is organised by the CCAE. Estonia’s participation in the biennale is funded by the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

We are looking for detailed and thought-out exhibition projects that include a concise exhibition concept, a concept for a catalogue (or other associated publications or events), the budget, a work plan, and a list of the working group with signed letters of consent from all prospective members.

The location of the exhibition will be different to that of the three previous biennales. For this reason, the exact spatial plan of the exhibition is not required as part of the project. As soon as the location is confirmed, the CCAE will publish the ground plan and the technical specifications of the exhibition space on its website. The winner of the open call will be able to get to know the exhibition space at the earliest opportunity.  Here are the drafts of the potential pavilion room that will be confirmed in May 2018.

Conditions for participation: 

1. The exhibition project must be curated. We welcome both solo and group exhibition projects that can be executed within the budget of the pavilion.
2. At least one of the participants of the submission must be an Estonian national or resident. The application must be submitted by a natural person.
3. All written parts of the project must be submitted in Estonian and in English. The deadline for the exhibition concept (3600 characters minimum) and illustrative materials is 12 April 2018 at 12.00 (midday) EET. All materials must be submitted to the Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia ( and/or Vabaduse väljak 6, Tallinn).
4. The projects will be assessed by an international panel that includes the director of the CCAE and members of the board, a representative of the Estonian Ministry of Culture and two or three international art experts. The lineup of the panel will be confirmed no later than 1 April 2018 and will be published on the CCAE website. Members of the panel and people affiliated with them cannot enter the open call.
Requirements for submissions: 
1. An ambitious exhibition concept with high artistic merit that is complete, original and resonates both in the Estonian as well as international art context.
2. The budget and technical specifications that include:
-        An overview of materials and techniques required for the execution of the project, i.e. an implementation plan.
-        A budget estimate that is based on real quotes.
NB! State funding for the production costs of the exposition (producing the exhibits, buying installation materials and fittings, renting or buying equipment) is fixed at €20 000. If the planned expenses exceed this sum, private and/or co-funding options must be considered and included in the proposal.
3. A comprehensive list of names of all artists, curators, designers and catalogue contributors with written consent forms that will, if selected as winner, become the recipients of the scholarship. A description of the previous experience of the participants and a brief overview of their contribution to the project should also be included. If institutions are included as partners, we kindly ask a letter of intent signed by a signatory and a description of the organisation’s contribution to the project to be included in the proposal.
4. A timeframe of the exhibition preparations and execution, written out in stages.

Assessment criteria:
1. The exhibition concept should be relevant in the context of contemporary art
2. The project should be unique, complete and conceptually sound
3. The exhibition concept should have an international reach and the potential to resonate with international audiences
4. The project should make a valuable contribution to the Estonian art scene
5. The professionalism and previous experience of the project participants
6. The feasibility of the project (within budget and scope) 

Legal ties

1. CCAE is the representative of the Estonian exposition at the Venice Biennale. The team of the CCAE is in charge of the organisation and technical functioning of the exposition, and takes part in preparations related to the substance of the project.
2. The relations between the curator, the artist and the CCAE will be set out in a contract that will stipulate the rights and responsibilities of the parties.
3. The open call is public; all participants will confirm their consent to participate with a signature when they submit their proposals.
4. The CCAE will only announce the winner(s) of the open call and the content of the winning entry with comments of the panel; the authors and contents of other projects are confidential.
5. The winner will cooperate with the CCAE to execute their winning project. As the executive organiser, the CCAE reserves the right to make suggestions for developing the project and bringing in additional partners.
6. The CCAE reserves the right to make changes in the details of the implementation of the project on objective grounds or due to circumstances outside the control of the CCAE.

Important information

Submitted proposals will go through preliminary examinations within three days after the deadline. When necessary, the CCAE will ask the participants for additional materials or to elaborate on submitted materials within two working days.

We recommend submitting your proposals as early as possible for preliminary consultations and making necessary amendments in time. Late submissions will not be considered!

The panel will select the winning proposal from among the entries that meet all requirements in the course of April 2018.

The winning entry will be announced in early May at the latest. The panel is not obligated to provide feedback on the entries that were not chosen.

Important dates for the Venice Biennale
The Biennale is open from 11 May to 24 November 2019
Press days of the Biennale: 8 to 10 May 2019
The Biennale is open to the public from 11 May 2019

In March 2018, the CCAE will hold a briefing on the execution of the Estonian pavilion at the Venice Biennale as well as on communication and budget, and there is a Q&A on planning the exhibition at the pavilion. Keep an eye on the CCAE website for updates.

Enquiries and additional information: 
Maria Arusoo
Commissioner of the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia
Vabaduse väljak 6
10146 Tallinn
Phone +372 631 4050