Laura Kuusk (1982) is an artist who works in photography, video and installation. The pervading themes in her work are the relationship between the spectator and the image, different means of narrative and collective fantasy. The origin of Kuusk’s works is seemingly not important, coincidental material and therefore subverting the value systems of making art.
In one of her earliest videos “Seven Beloved Christmas Songs” (2006) the artist sits in a romantic setting behind the table with a partner, who later will reveal itself as her own video camera. Kuusk’s master degree project “Objectives” (2008) is a photo-film, which tells a story in pseudo-documentary manner about a man, who has never existed. For the video “1% for Annecy” (2011) Kuusk filmed the lake of Annecy and slowed it to 1/100 speed, referring to the 1%-system in France, in which 1% from public building construction, goes for commissioning a public artwork. The video pays respect to the beauty of the lake of Annecy, but it’s also a commentary on the relationship between commissioned and self-imposed art.
Her installation “Field of Possibilities” (2013) made of glass bottles with spoons inside and a ventilator which puts them in movement, associates with a previous video series “Almost Films” (2010–2012), in which the protagonists talk about films they would like to do. This is the field of possibilities, where non-existent scenes are projected onto the audience’s imagination.
The latest works of Kuusk deal with identity making and the relationship between visual intertextual material. For example, “Cover” (2017) is taking place in construction supply shops, an apartment for sale and an exhibition hall – places which relate with every-day decision making and processes of self-constructing. It’s a 360-degree choreographed show, in which the spectator can participate by using a virtual reality headset.
On the side, Kuusk has managed various curatorial projects, for example, “Doings or Not” (2008) a seminar and exhibition platform with Margit Säde and group exhibition “Side Effects” with Pascal Riou, which took place in the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (2013) and former museum-library in Grenoble (2014). Kuusk managed a gallery called Loop (2010–2015), which was in the size of a portable doll house. Loop was an international exhibition space, which has travelled as a parcel all over Europe and hosted more than 15 group and personal exhibitions.
Laura Kuusk has collaborated with the artist Camille Laurelli in an event series “100 sound landscapes in studio 355” (2017–2018), in which participants can choose between different channels and listen while moving around sonic images.
Kuusk has released a collection of postcards as “Pop-Up Book” (2014), which includes images found by Google search engine. Collages put together with Photoshop propose spatial clichés in a fast moving online-visual landscape. Also, Kuusk has published “Side Effects”, a book to accompany the same-titled exhibition (2016).
Laura Kuusk studied semiotics in Tartu University (BA, 2005), photography in the Estonian Academy of Arts (MA, 2008) and in Annecy Higher Art School (LE DSRA, 2014). In 2014 she was awarded artist of the year of Grenoble and an award named after Édouard Barbe.