Hendrik Kaljujärv’s meaning-layered „Overexposure“

Hendrik Kaljujärv has once said in an interview to Priit Raud that the multitude of information and meanings of contemporary time was one of the impulses for this production. Kaljujärv says that it is not a problem for him, although it may be for many, including the writer of this review. I can feel how, having to deal with the immense amount of information, the decision-making ability is the greatest virtue. I would like to know about everything that exists and is available, but, in the process, the focus might disappear altogether. One must find a specific direction in order not to dissolve into the macrocosm. It seems that this is what Hendrik Kaljujärv attempted to say in his production, when he indicated a specific direction by making the same motion repeatedly over a few minutes. Therefore, keeping the focus and determination are crucial in today’s evolutional struggle for survival. I remember a conversation with a parent who said that it was so difficult to raise a normal child these days. Indeed, how do you maintain or guarantee normality, when the society around you seems to be quite schizophrenic? Or what can be considered normal after all at the era that has been labelled post-truth?

„Overexposure“ is a term used in photography meaning excessive exposure or lighting. The text accompanying the production characterises it as following: „Overexposure is a decadent deed to fix, install, note down, or cross out “something”. An obsessive attempt to hold onto civilisation, heroic submission to environment.“ Keeping in mind the term’s original meaning, over-lighting, and taking into account the meaning of simple sentences I picked up from the interview after the performance, it carries the following message for me – in order to survive or maintain a civilisation we need to keep focus although there is a lot of noise in our surroundings, and the meanings are not what they used to be. I would quote a short excerpt, like I did from the production’s accompanying text, from the poem „Nebenmensch“ by Hasso Krull: „… Friendly forms are unfriendly, enjoyment itself creates unenjoyment…“. Of course, this is only my interpretation of things, and I won’t presume to have understood it correctly, because as Hendrik Kaljujärv said during the Q&A after the performance, he does not want to dictate how to comprehend this play. In the post-truth society, trueness does not matter anyway. However, it seems that several layers of meanings were hidden in the play. For instance, think about the metaphor of building the chimney. I suppose everyone drew their own conclusions and made their own guesses.

In addition to conveying the message, both sound and space also created the atmosphere for the performance. Sound or even noise was so powerful and charming that it made me want to get up and dance. That is why my ability to focus and perception of time and space also appeared to vanish. It seemed that it was also a reason for Hendrik Kaljujärv to get up from the dining table again and again and then return to finish what he had started.

The space, in which the production of Hendrik Kaljujärv took place, was also imposing. It consisted of walls and floor that featured the works by the artist Alar Tuul. The works of Alar Tuul have been compared to both Jean Michel Basquiat as well as Karel Appel, who has likely inspired the artist. For me, these primitively depicted types personified the schizophrenic world, in which we live and in which the performance took place.

In conclusion, the strong point of the performance „Overexposure“ was the whole created by both visuals and music and the layers of meaning that peeled out of it. I undoubtedly liked the music made for the production, which was based on the ideas by Hendrik Kaljujärv and Kallervo Karu, who also performed on drums. I have heard Hendrik Kaljujärv’s creation being praised before, but unfortunately I have nothing to compare it to. As an end of the year visit, „Overexposure“ was definitely one of the productions that stuck to my mind. Great food for thought and a musical and visual enjoyment directly after Christmas dinner and before New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Anneliis Lepp