Estonia 2022, 23 Apr 2022 — 27 Nov 2022
National Participations

Estonia 2022

Orchidelirium: An Appetite for Abundance

Giardini, Castello, 30122, Venice, Italy

Title: Orchidelirium. An Appetite for Abundance
Commissioner: Maria Arusoo, Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA)
Curators: Corina L. Apostol
Exhibitor: Kristina Norman, Bita Razavi

Kristina Norman and Bita Razavi represent Estonia at the 59th La Biennale di Venezia. For this edition, the Mondriaan Fund has invited Estonia to exhibit as guests in their historical Rietveld Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale. The exhibition features reinterpretations of works on orchids that Emilie Rosalie Saal (1871–1954) realized during the Victorian Age when the “orchid fever” (or orchidelirium) was gripping Europe.

Artists Kristina Norman and Bita Razavi, in dialogue with curator Corina L. Apostol, used the orchid as a symbol of colonial ecological exploitation to critically explore the landscapes, and to produce an immersive environment, featuring a film trilogy by Kristina Norman and a performative spatial intervention by Bita Razavi. Norman and Razavi’s research-based practices will closely examine the historical experience of serfdom in Estonia from which the Saals emerged, their lived experiences in Indonesia, and the important role they played in Dutch colonial history.

Orchidelirium” reflects on the difficulties of entangled histories and the relationships between “perpetrators” and “victims” in a botanical pavilion where the viewer encounters different characters of the colonial past and present.


Contacts & Details


Apr 23 – Sept 25 Tue – Sun, 11am – 7pm
Sept 27 – Nov 27 Tue – Sun, 10am – 6pm


Giardini, Castello, 30122, Venice, Italy
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