The Homunculus Collection

Fertile Field for Fertility (2014) – Carla Castiajo (1974)

International Group Exhibition Explores Concept of Artificial Human Life

What is a homunculus and why are you collecting them? Homunculus (Latin for little man) is a term used in the Middle Ages for artificially created human life. Alchemists believed they could artificially create human beings under the right conditions. Human seed / semen was believed to contain miniature humans that could be grown in the soil or a laboratory. The myth of the homunculus is present in works from Faust to Frankenstein.

The concept of the homunculus poses questions about the creation of artificial human life, and the dualism that separates the mind from the body and the virtual from the material. Seven artists from America, Estonia, France, Iceland, Portugal and Spain explore the theme of homunculi in this temporary, contemporary art collection.

The exhibition takes place at Hobusepea Gallery in Tallinn’s Old Town. The opening at 18:00 on Wednesday, August 13th will feature artist talks by Icelandic artist Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir and American artist Michael Sell.

The artists participating in The Homunculus Collection include: Carla Castiajo, Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, Laura Kuusk, Camille Laurelli,Carlos Lazarich, Sten Saarits and Michael Sell The exhibition is curated by Stacey Koosel a doctoral candidate at the Department of Art and Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Exhibition Info:

13.08 – 01.09 2014 at Hobusepea Gallery

Special Events Info:

13.08.2014 18.00 Artist & Curator Talk

This exhibition was made possible through support by:

The Cultural Endowment of Estonia, KUNO, The Oregon Arts Commission, Embajada De Espana En Estonia, The Estonian Academy of Arts, Vladimir Smirnov & Konstantine Sorokin Foundation, The Embassy of the United States of America

Location: Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2 Tallinn

Artist Bios

Carla Castiajo (1974) has studied, taught and exhibited internationally with jewelry as a medium of expression. She holds a MFA in Jewelry Design from Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. She has taught at BNU in Pakistan, Oakham School in England and ESAD in Portugal.

Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir (1969) is a Professor of Fine Arts at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in Reykjavík. She received a BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Hekla has exhibited internationally since 1999, and founded Kling & Bang Gallery in Reykjavík in 2003.

Laura Kuusk (1982) lives and works in Grenoble, France and Tallinn, Estonia. She received an MFA in photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts and a BA in semiotics and culture theory at Tartu University. Her work explores narratives and situations between fiction and reality through video, photography and installation.

Camille Laurelli (1981) lives and works in art. His work has not been exhibited at Tate or MoMA. After some artist-in-residence application rejections, he did not overcome and go on to win any prizes from illustrious institutions like Villa Medicis or PS1. His work is not part
of the APT (Artist Pension Trust®) or any other international collections. Commercial art galleries are not interested in his work, which has been a consistent characteristic of his career.

Carlos Lazarich (1981) lives and works in Barcelona. He received a BFA in Photography from the University of Seville. He has worked in photography for fashion publications and currently utilizes thread as a medium of expression. He explores the possibilities of the medium, from human figures to the exploration of space beyond the canvas.

Sten Saarits (1987) currently studies at the Department of Installation and Sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. His works have been described as experience-based sculptures utilizing sound and light to form architectural space. His work poses the question, why do we perceive things the way we do? The installation pieces are not direct answers as much as discourses on the subject.

Michael Sell (1981) is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon. He holds an MFA in Photography from Kendall College of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited around the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles, New York and now in Tallinn.

Curator Bio

Stacey Koosel (1982) is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Art and Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Her PhD thesis is on ‘Identity in the Age of Social Media’. Her research interests include media ecology, digital culture and contemporary art. She has published articles in international media and art journals and curated art exhibitions in Germany and Spain.


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