Jaan Toomik

March 8 – May 20, 2007
Kumu Art Museum, Great Hall



The exhibition of Jaan Toomik consists of new works. Nevertheless there was a video from an earlier period in which he recognized something crucial to the present – an outburst of fundamentalist ideas, exhalted communal spirit and religous sectantarianism. Be it our key, a starting point.


Preacher in San Antonio (1997) resonates with the brave new world suddenly again demanding from everyman a firm answer to whose side one is standing on and whose blood one is ready to spill. In the new videos he uses medium-specific approach collecting fragments of the everyday saturated with meaning. Thus Toomik let´s the banalest question – what is the meaning of life – pop up in the most absurd situations (Telephone Story, 2005). He focuses on the everyday occurrencies, but hunts for moments characterised by out of place metaphysical pretensiousness, naked confessions or feelings heated up to the point of saturation (Maiu, 2007, Jaanika, 2007). A detail picked up by the camera eye with hilarious surprise effect mutates in the arbritary sugestivity of painted images, turns into the Real, into something threatening to identity. While painting, Toomik focuses on a psychologically charged image – often haunted with a remote autobiographical motive – on tuning it to maximal intensity (Jesus Christ Puked out in the Morning, 2007). But be it the paintings, the videos or the short feature film (Communion, 2007) – here we are being communicated about the birth, the death, begetting, collective participation and the sense of salvation, all revealed in trifling details. By Toomik, by his characters and by the reality around us the exhibition resonates with.


Read the exhibition catalogue foreword