Father and Son

  • 1998
  • Jaan Toomik
  • Video, color, sound
  • 2 min. 47 s. in loop
A pure, clear voice – that of his 10 year-old son – sings a Gregorian chant that accompanies this fragile crossing, an image of the transience of existence. This simple scene sets up an uneasy tension, inviting different interpretations and combining various religious and biographical references – Toomik was nine when he lost his father.

© Adagp, Paris, 2015


Jaan Toomik

After initially working in figurative painting, Jaan Toomik turned to performance in public spaces, installations and video. This change came at the same time as the independence of his country and its opening up, in the 1990s, to Western contemporary art.

The presence of bodies echoes his interest in Viennese Actionism. The themes of life and death, and the difficulty of surviving within a group are the subjects of his films, which transpose into visual and sonic meditations extreme situations he has experienced himself, growing up and in the army, as well as those experienced by prisoners. “In my works, the personal dimension is essential. Whether I make a film or something else, my own memory is my main source of inspiration: personal history, individual experiences,” says Toomik.

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