Tartu Museum to Scoop Up Feces Artwork (3)

Toomik's daily 'menus' are not to everyone's taste. Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
10/24/2012 3:54 PM
Category: Culture

A renowned and controversial installation by Jaan Toomik consisting of several jars of the artist's own excrement is being bought by the Tartu Art Museum.

Now Estonia's most recognized contemporary artist on the international circuit, Toomik caused a stir two decades ago with his work "May 15 - June 1, 1992," which includes a "menu" of what he ate along with each day's output for the period.

"We want to buy the right to reproduce the work," the museum's director, Reet Mark, told Postimees, explaining that the museum had no plans to actually keep the jars of excrement in its collection.

The institution has applied for 2,000 euros in funding from the state's Cultural Endowment for the purchase.

The work is currently on exhibition at the museum as part of a retrospective on the country's art scene of the 1990s entitled "HUH? PHOOEY! ACK! OH! WOW! Classics of Estonian Contemporary Art."

"One might also need nothing else than to open another art-related article on the internet and [find] in the comments section a reference to Jaan Toomik’s legendary installation of 'shit jars,'" the exhibition's introduction reads.

"This year, 20 years will pass from the production, display and destruction of the piece 'May 15 - June 1, 1992,' yet the image remains vivid in the national memory and continues to inflame passions. We decided to celebrate the piece’s anniversary and to reproduce it again."


Steve Roman

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