Jaanus Samma (b. 1982) is a visual artist based in Tallinn. He studied at the Estonian Academy of the Arts, Tallinn. His works include photographs, installations and videos centred around the study of urban space and our subjective experiences of it. Over the years, Samma’s interests and research have become focused on gender studies and representation of male sexuality. Investigating how these issues can be discussed and portrayed in art, he combines fieldwork – interviews and archival research – with subjective artistic practice based on his findings.
Samma has recently taken part in the WIELS residency program, Brussels. In 2015, he represented Estonia at the 56th Venice Biennale with his project “NSFW. A Chairman’s Tale”. In 2013, he was awarded the Köler Prize by the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.
Samma’s recent solo exhibitions include „Outhouse by the Church”, curated by Eugenio Viola, Nomas Foundation, Rome (2018); "Sõnumid – Viestejä", The Aine Art Museum, Tornio (2018); "Dialogue. Mare Vint and Jaanus Samma", KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn (2017–2018); "Divider", Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2017); “Three Works at a Canteen”, ex-canteen factory Kalibr, Minsk (2016); “Not Suitable For Work. A Chairman’s Tale”, curated by Eugenio Viola, Museum of Occupations, Tallinn (2016); “Unrest", Gotlands Konstmuseum (2015); "The Hair Sucks Sweater Shop", Tallinn Art Hall Gallery (2014); and "Chairman. The Opera", Kunstraum B, Kiel (2013).
His works have been featured in group exhibitions including “There and Back Again. Contemporary art from the Baltic Sea region”, Kiasma, Helsinki (2018-2019); “The State is not a Work of Art”, curated by Katerina Gregos, Tallinn Art Hall (2018); "Queerly Classed", curated by Yevgeniy Fiks and Olga Kopenkina, Franklin Street Works, Connecticut (2017); "Sculpture Quadrennial", Riga (2016); “Masters Peasants Peasants Masters”, BWA Sokól, Nowy Sacz (2016); “Kunstnerbøger – Vildt Voksende”, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2016); XX Mänttä Art Festival (2015); “Is This the Museum That We Wanted?”, Tartu Art Museum (2014); “Afterlives of Gardens”, KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn (2013); “Corporal Punishment”, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn (2012); “Untold Stories”, Tallinn Art Hall (2011); Luleå Art Biennial (2009); and “Exposition d´Art Contemporain Balte”, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2008).