Draakon Gallery, Tallinn: Desire Path

laura toots

LAURA TOOTS (born 1986) will open her solo exhibition Desire Path in Draakon Gallery on Monday 27.02.2012 at 5 p.m.

Laura Toots graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Master’s degree in photography in 2011 and her current solo exhibition Desire Path continues the themes she has been dealing with during the recent years. To put it simply, it is camera-based post-conceptual art inspired by Laura Toots’ personal background and sprouted from tiny everyday tasks and materials found at home.

According to the artist herself, the content of the exhibition is formed by oral heritage within her family and (misleading) photographic ‘evidence’ as well as their unexpected turning into anecdotes. However, bystanders might also notice here the continued use of the methods of ‘personal archaeology’ already evident in her first solo exhibition Distant Pieces (No Big Stories Nowadays) held in Tallinn City Gallery in 2010.

According to Laura Toots, the exhibition grew out from the postcard piece My Father Is Not My Hero, His Heroism Is My Father, a family photograph taken on a holiday years ago. The artist added an additional detail on the image with a felt-tip pen (a bra on his father’s chest), which made the family members on the photograph look even more alike, although it was in fact an ‘impossible detail’, given the domestic and gender roles, as well as social ones. By sending someone a postcard, we determine our location somewhere far away. Postcards sent home from our travels would show us the way back, starting their journey the very moment they are dropped in the mail. Thus, in a way they serve as navigation tools.

Most of other works displayed at the exhibition are also taken from visual and oral family archives. To a great extent, the exhibition is centred on the supporting structure of images or memories, the so-called technical back-up material that is often used to present them. In the work Lovers’ Discourse three wedding photographs from family archives are covered with passe-partout (which is usually meant to focus attention on the image), so that there are only three separate details to be seen, pointing to the idiosyncrasies (or perhaps similarities) of all photographs of that kind as well as common elements in the traditional wedding ritual. The material is important also on its own account, and it may seem that only the construction has remained in these works.

NB! The exhibition will also offer an opportunity to purchase the limited edition postcard My Father Is Not My Hero, His Heroism Is My Father as well as Laura Toots’ artist book Perceiving Something Different After Something Different Although Things Remain the Same (2012) based on a series of drawings carrying the same title. The book also includes photographs from Toots’ family archives.

The exhibition will be open until 10 March 2012.

The exhibition is supported by Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Exhibitions in Draakon Gallery are supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Many thanks to: Paul Kuimet, Ott Metusala, Indrek Sirkel, Liisa Toots, Kristiina Hansen

Laura Toots
born in 1986 in Tallinn, Estonia

Pikk 18, Tallinn,
10133, Estonia

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