Links To The World: Leslie Thornton

On 22 December Tartu Art Museum opens the third exhibition in the series Links to the World which introduces internationally acclaimed video artists’ works to the local audiences. The exhibition places celebrated international artists’ works into dialogue with local authors’ practice. This time we are exhibiting a work by US video artist Leslie Thornton. The exhibition will be open until 18 February 2018.

In this exhibition Thornton’s oeuvre is represented by a video from 1981 titled Jennifer, Where Are You?, which depicts a small girl who is playing with a red lipstick and matches as a male voice in the background – possibly the girl’s father – is repeatedly calling out for Jennifer. The work shows a clear contrast between a child’s innocent curiosity and an adult’s anxiety and fear towards the surrounding world.

The video can be viewed in dialogue with the exhibition Julie Hagen-Schwarz. The First Estonian Female Artist which gives an overview of one of the most remarkable artists living in Tartu in the 19th century. She is considered to be the first professional female artist of Estonia because she attained both academic recognition and professional success in the local art world. Her life and practice have been strongly influenced by her discordant relationship with her father and her wish to break social norms in order to impose herself as a female artist among a predominantly male art scene. Thornton’s work provides a personal look into such subjects. The video combines a historic atmosphere with a contemporary approach creating a bridge between different times when female artists have been faced with similar issues.

Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
The exhibition series Links to the World is supported by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Sõbralt Sõbrale furniture shop.

Curator: Hanna-Liis Kont
Graphic designer: Viktor Gurov

Exhibition team: Joanna Hoffmann, Margus Joonsalu, Merli-Triin Eiskop, Julia Polujanenkova, Urmo Teekivi, Piia Õunpuu

Additional information:
Hanna-Liis Kont