Exhibition by Tanja Muravskaja in Tallinn Russian Museum

Tanja Muravskaja’s exhibition “A word close to the heart” will be on display in the Tallinn Russian Museum (Pikk 29a) from the 12th of January.

The exhibition “A word close to the heart” is the dictionary of the Russian-speaking Estonians, which reflects on the processes that have taken place and are taking place in Estonian society. This extraordinary imprint of time and culture has been captured in the mother tongue of the Russian community in Estonia and is the most vivid expression of the Estonian-Russian identity.


The curator and artist of the exhibition, Tanja Muravskaja:

“During the whole of last year, the museum and museum lovers worked together to collect more than a hundred of the most powerful words. Several words with universal meaning were repeated, demonstrating common human values. There were also many discoveries, new and unfamiliar words as proof of Estonia’s cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity.”

Frequently repeated words are мама (mom), доченька (daughter), батя (dad); isiklikest suhetest: нежность (tenderness), красотуля (beauty), уют (cosiness); words from Estonian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Tatar and other cultures were rare: шухляда (pull-out desk drawer), трепель (coatrack), кохвик (cafe), пясточка (kamaluke). There were also more meaningful words related to the family’s past and to moving or studying behind the current border of Estonia: поребрик (roadside), хутор (cottage), рубль (ruble).


A part of the exhibition is an installation made up of the collected words and stories related to them. In the small hall, however, you can see works by artists related to Estonia. The paintings and prints reveal the cultural and historical context of the use of Russian in Estonia. This is reflected in the conceptual works of Raul Meele and Ilya Kabakov and the satirical canvases of Alexei Gordin.

“A word close to the heart” in the Tallinn Russian Museum is a part of a big project named “Museum Laboratory”, which highlights the social role of the museum, including the visitor in the designing of the exhibition. The exhibition and accompanying events take place in the framework of the Creative Europe international project “Creators of Change: mediating minorities”.


On 26 January, the exhibition hosted a curatorial tour and a talk with Tanja Muravskaya.


Artists featured in the exhibition: Alexei Gordin, Kuzja Zverev, Ilja Kabakov, Sandra Kosortova, Raul Meel, Boriss Uvarov, Evi Pärn, Tanja Muravskaja.

The exhibition is open until September 2022.

Exhibition design: Raul Kalvo

Graphic design: Vladimir Loginov

Technical execution: Johannes Säre & Co

Translator: Ilona Martson

Thanks to:

Artists featured in the exhibition: Alexei Gordin, Kuzja Zverev, Ilja Kabakov, Sandra Kosortova, Liidia Meel, Raul Meel, Boriss Uvarov, Evi Pärn.

Neeme Külm, Elnara Taidre, Kadri Mägi.

Tartu Art Museum, Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Mediators and circle of friends of the Tallinn Russian Museum project “Creators of change: mediating minorities”.

Info: Julia Kornejeva , 53052151


Curator: Tanja Muravskaja