For thousands of years people have talked about the source of eternal youth and wishing wells, but no such source or well has ever been found anywhere. Today, people’s indelible thirst for eternal youth and beauty still remains unquenched. From Saturday, 9 July, Cloe Jancis’ exhibition Wishing Well will be open at Tallinn City Gallery, drawing inspiration from the influx of commodified self-help opportunities on social media. The curator of the exhibition is Siim Preiman.
You are welcome to the opening of the exhibition at Tallinn City Gallery on Friday, 8 July at 6 pm.
Over the years, Cloe Jancis has dedicated a significant part of her work to modern beauty rituals. Using installation, photography and video, she has shown us the motions and behaviours that many of us go through – or in a sense even perform – in front of a mirror every day. Her works have reflected the self-care tutorials on social media, as well as the quietly repressive violence that accompanies this uniformly nude-coloured fake beauty. The works exhibited at Wishing Well have emerged from the same process; however, a mysterious veil of parables has arisen between the art objects and the people experiencing them. As in previous cases, here too Jancis is her own model; we see objects associated with beauty rituals or their derivatives, yet there is something else here too … An intention reminiscent of a ghostly obsession that amplifies the sense that the artist’s hand has been directed by something bigger and older than herself.
“Jancis has said that she is interested in materials and objects considered beautiful – be it beauty products or materials like glass, silver and silk. She is sceptical of the baggage of mysticism and abilities of these materials, and she does not trust their seemingly self-evident beauty. Reminiscent of a tomb, a treasure trove or a hiding cave, this exhibition touches on the inevitable tragedy of being a stranger to yourself. Whether we like it or not our reflection chases us all our lives, staring at us from every reflective surface we look at. This has been the case since the beginning of time, from a pond of water to a polished bronze place, from a silver mirror to a smart screen,” writes Siim Preiman, curator of the exhibition in the accompanying text of the exhibition.
Cloe Jancis (1992) is an artist working in the media of photography, video and installation. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in photography (2018) and is currently studying in the master’s programme of the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Jancis is fascinated by the social image and daily roles of women, and the myths and expectations related to these. In recent years, she has focused on objects and rituals associated with femininity. Her recent exhibitions include In front of the mirror, on a day full of enthusiasm, you put your mask on too heavily, it bites your skin with Sigrid Viir at the central exhibition Screen Age III: Still Life of the Riga Photography Biennial (2022), Between You and This at the Fictions Documentaires Festival in Carcassonne, France (2021), Exhibition as Conversation group exhibition at Tartu Art House (curator Hanna-Liis Kont, 2021) and Letters from a Foreign Mind group exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (curator Laura Toots, 2021).
Siim Preiman (1992) works as a curator at Tallinn Art Hall and manages the mobile art platform galerii galerii. His curatorial position is characterised by a strong environmental awareness and the desire to move towards a more equal society. Preiman studied art history at the Estonian Academy of Arts. His recent curatorial projects include Pine-fulness at Tallinn City Gallery (2021), Wearing a Hundred Shirts with Sten Ojavee at the Art Hall Gallery (2021) and galerii galerii Presents: A Concise Anthology of Mobile Art Platforms at the 1st March Gallery in Tallinn (2021).
We would like to thank: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Anneli Rakki, Eha Rakki, Aadu Lambot, Andrei Hvostov, Liis Reier, Kadi Lambot, Lee Kelomees, Andreas Jõesaar, Doris Tislar, Tõnis Jürgens, Kulla Laas, Marge Monko, Marko Usler, Taavi Rekkaro, Jaana Jüris.
Guided 30-min tours in Estonian take place every Saturday at noon. Tour with the artist and the curator will take place in August, exact time will be announced soon on Tallinn Art Hall Facebook page. Wishing Well will remain open at Tallinn City Gallery until 4 September 2022.