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Jaan Toomik at Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn

Exhibition: Jaan Toomik. Waterfall, 2005. Video still, Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition 'Decoding the Landscape: Jaan Toomik' combines Jaan Toomik’s video installation Waterfall (2005) with Baltic German artists’ 19th-century Romantic landscape paintings. As is typical of Kumu’s project space exhibitions, Decoding the Landscape by Jaan Toomik is an art intervention project based on a synthesis of art history and contemporary art. The aspirations and features characterising different periods are placed in new contexts, to open up new interpretations.

One of the greatest insights associated with the Romantic movement of the 19th century was the artist’s awareness of the inner life of the individual, unconscious human thoughts and desires. Jaan Toomik’s video offers a contemporary parallel to 19th-century landscape painting, through the themes of personal elegy, existential angst, and escape into nature. As Waterfall is a deeply autobiographical work, the display includes Toomik’s earlier interviews, in which he analyses the development of his art and introduces the background to his work.

This exhibition is a part of the 3rd-floor permanent exhibition Landscapes of Identity: Estonian Art 1700–1945 of the Kumu Art Museum.

Curator: Eha Komissarov
Artist: Jaan Toomik
Coordinator: Anastassia Langinen
Exhibition design: Kaarel Eelma
Graphic design: Tuuli Aule