„Idols I“

1993, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn

At first glance Mall Nukke’s collages look like stills from a two dimensional MTV music video. There is no point arguing with the fact that MTV, as a successful medium for transmitting and receiving visual information, is a powerful media tool because MTV is now finally also taking hold in the former Eastern bloc. It is the most accessible channel for virtual reality, a symbiosis of the latest fashion trends and hairstyles, an officially sanctioned expression of subcultures that projects the image that this life is sweet. The result is an exaggerated and engaging optimism that bewitches the masses, but in essence is just a modern fairytale. Once society is under its spell then clichés are preferred to reality.
Mall Nukke’s work is about the clichés in our everyday lives.
For her kitsch is a means to an end, not a goal in itself. It is hard to imagine kitsch without exaggerated beauty, false eroticism and an imitation of wealth. With Postmodernism, kitsch was rehabilitated and its status restored as it took the place in the art hierarchy it deserved – marginal but influential. For Nukke, kitsch is a powerful tool that playfully, like a form of entertainment, helps to highlight attitudes that are condemned in contemporary culture. It seems that for her generation, kitsch is a deeply felt experience and not something to be ashamed of, but rather a device that art can successfully exploit.

Harry Liivrand, art critic
Magazin „Magneet“, 1994