My research deals with decolonisation, difficult and neglected heritage, museum histories, relationships between art and ethnography and processes of art history writing.

In my book “Absence and Difficult Knowledge in Contemporary Art Museums” (2018) I studied the histories of four European national art museums, while juxtaposing them with their current practices of collecting. In my choice of these museums, I was particularly interested in opening relationships between Eastern and Western European museums. My specific interest were the impacts of private funding and the growing role of private collections in national museums on representation of minority artists work. Absence was one of the keywords to characterize the ambiguous and contradictory ways in which museums approach collecting work of artists of minority origin, occasionally absencing artists’ identities and at other times celebrating their otherness.  I proposed difficult knowledge as a counter-practice and curatorial strategy for dealing with such absences in collections productively.

My recent research project “Difficult Knowledge in Baltic Visual Culture” (2019-2021) dealt with the afterlives of Second World War and Soviet-era memory in artistic practice, documentary films and exhibitions of the three Baltic States. My current work is developing into articulations of decolonial frameworks in the Baltic context and the rethinking of global coloniality that it, in turn, requires. In a recent research fellowship project at the Tropenmuseum’s Research Centre for Material Culture I was interested in understanding how colonial imaginaries traveled by focusing on the histories of Estonia and the Netherlands.

With Ieva Astahovska we have initiated the project “Communicating Difficult Pasts” (2019-2024), which consists of series of events: summer-school in Kuldiga (August 2019), symposium “Prisms of Silence” in Tallinn (February 2020) and exhibition “Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds” in Riga (April-June 2020) and Vilnius (April-August 2022). An important contribution of this project has been its exploration of new research methods and concepts in the Baltic and postsocialist contexts while also involving creative research methods. For more information about the project, please see here.

I am open to supervising young researchers on the topics of my expertise in the fields of museology, curating and visual art.