The protagonist of the spatial installation “Daughter of the Huntsman” is Ulla Juske’s grandfather and Reet Varblane’s father, a huntsman and a photographer who lost his home and parents in the Second World War. His rich archive of hunting photos – the earliest are from the end of the 1950s and the latest from the middle of the 1980s – is used to look at the trauma that befell the photographer but also his generation in general and the defensive mechanisms and alternative activities that were used to overcome it.
The exhibition consists of amateur photos but their representation mirrors the way of life of that era, its ideology but also figural compositions that we know from art history: mainly the construction of official portraits and the significance of the represented people that they creates (their status and position). Depictions of hunting as a very manly activity remind us of another very manly part of life: the depiction of war. In addition to photos, visitors can also see the protagonist’s home and the key elements of his personal space (gun and rapier, moose antlers, bookcase, armchair).
The daughter and granddaughter of the huntsman have created a multi-layered narrative based on actual facts, memories, folklore, art historical analysis, sounds, photos and objects. In it, they take an ambivalent position: they are both participants and bystanders, seekers of the truth and its muddlers. First and foremost, however, they are searching for a solution, like the daughters of the huntsmen do in Native American legends.
Ulla Juske is an installation and video artist mainly living and working in Dublin. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Installation and Sculpture Department of the Estonian Academy of Arts and a master’s degree in new media from the National College of Art and Design (Ireland). She made her first art projects during her studies in the EAA with the artist group SUHE with whom they still collaborate. Over the last years, she has collaborated with the Swedish artist Ella Bertilsson. They have undertaken residencies in Iceland, Norway and Ireland. In 2018, they had the project “11.9 km Northwest of City Centre” in Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, “Carrier of Memories” in Draiocht Gallery, Dublin, and “Beyond the Sandy Suburbs” in Pallas Projects and Studio, Dublin. Since November, Juske has been in a studio residency at the Dublin Royal Hibernian Academy and in March she will begin her residency at the Dublin Fire Station Artists’ Studios.
Reet Varblane works at the cultural newspaper Sirp as the editor of visual arts and as gallerist in the Vabaduse Gallery in Tallinn. She has curated various international exhibitions: “Homo grandis natu” (2005–2006, Tallinn Art Hall and Moscow University for the Humanities), an exhibition of Chinese artists “Linnailmed” (2005, Tallinn Art Hall), “Kehaturg” (2007, Tallinn Art Hall), an exhibition of Estonian artists “Piiririik” (2008, Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts), Orlan’s personal exhibition (2008, Tallinn Art Hall with Eugenio Viola), Andrei Monastyrski’s personal exhibition (2008, Tallinn Art Hall), “Obscurum per obscuris” (2008, Tallinn Art Hall with Ilja Sundelevitsh); exhibition of Israeli and Palestinian female artists “Naised muudavad maailma” (2009, Tallinn Art Hall), „Poliitiline on isiklik” (2010, Tallinn Art Hall), „Kunst macht frei” (2012, Modern Hungarian Gallery, Pécs with Gabriella Uhl), exhibition of Rovaniemi artists “Ma elan põhjapöörijoonel” (2012, Tallinn and Riga), “Nahaalused lood” (2014–2015, Tallinn, Võru, Kuressaare, Valga, Narva and Stockholm with Marje Taska), etc.
Gallery name: Tartu Art House Monumental Gallery
Address: Vanemuise 26, Tartu
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 12:00 - 18:00
Open: 14.02.2019 - 10.03.2019