Snakes in the Long Grass

Metropol Gallery, Tallinn: September 14 – October 23, 2018

We know that snakes live in the long grass and we step boldly forward and the hiss takes us by surprise and we are shocked by the movement underfoot. Can it really be? Do you think they are really poisonous?

In Hannah Harkes’ solo exhibition the character of the untrustworthy snake became paired with the inevitable doctor who interrupts your path and enters your body. Like snakes in the grass, the particularities of our personal ends might lurk surreptitiously but they most certainly exist.

Guest speaker Dr. Davide Ermacora has investigated, cross-culturally, the fantastic image of the beast entering and living in the body. This was the subject of his PhD dissertation. At the exhibition opening, he shared folk tales on reptiles that crawl unnoticed into the body of individuals who sleep under a tree; or illness narratives of those who claim that they host an extravagant zoo of creatures (snakes included) which possibly lay eggs, reproduce and move internally. Visitors entered gallery Metropol for a consultation with the doctor as they tried to navigate their way through the snakes.

Photographer: Astrid de Boisfleury

Photographer: Astrid de Boisfleury

Photographer: Astrid de Boisfleury

Photographer: Astrid de Boisfleury

On the opening night, emcee Mutivana presented on stage:

Snake Doctor Davide
Hedgehog MP
Rat in the Grass Vihterpal
VJ Ritsikas
Härra Tigu
Rohuelukad Orchestra

Davide Ermacora as Snake Doctor Davide. Photographer: Becca Harkes

Mari Prekup as Hedgehog MP. Photographer: Becca Harkes

Kaarel Kütas as Mr. Snail. Photographer: Becca Harkes

The exhibition was supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.