press release

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios presents a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Estonian artist Ene-Liis Semper, 12th March - 16th April. Semper's work is a blend of video and performance that bridges sensual experience and theories of film and theatre. There will be a concurrent exhibition by fellow Estonian artist Mark Raidpere in the International Studio space at TBG&S.

Ene-Liis Semper's work in video records performances specifically undertaken for the camera. Using austere theatricality Semper (b. 1969 Tallinn) focuses on the body and simple iconic movements, embodying a staged dramatic resonance that is seductive and unsettling. The exhibition will feature two video works by Semper, 'Licked Room' and 'FF/REW'.

'Licked Room' and 'FF/REW' provoke questions of anguish and compulsion and reflect classic themes of seduction, self-sacrifice and death, offering moments for potential psychoanalytical discourse.

"Pure original reality stands in front of your eyes unchanged, and you traverse it hundreds of times without noticing it. The moment when it suddenly swims into focus is astonishing. I think I've tried to capture such moments." (Ene-Liis Semper)

'Licked Room', first performed for the Estonian exposition at the 49th Venice Biennial 2001, will be played across three video monitors in a purpose-built room within the gallery. On the morning of the exhibition, Semper will lick the walls and floor of the space, alone in the room apart from her camera man. Once the room has been licked the space will be sealed and there will be no entry until visitors arrive that evening. The audience walks through the space potentially unaware of the voyeuristic event.

In accompaniment to 'Licked Room' is 'FF/REW', a staged suicide story. The viewer is carried on a repetitive journey that progresses from being initially disturbing to an assertion of one of the fundamental aspects of video. The basis of 'FF/REW" is the capability of video to manipulate time, to deconstruct and reassemble the linear and narrative structure of events, to move backwards and forwards from the starting point.

Ene-Liis Semper will curate a simultaneous exhibition of work by fellow Estonian artist Mark Raidpere (b. 1975 Tallinn) in the International Studio space. Raidpere has been selected to represent Estonia at the Venice Biennale 2005. This is the first exhibition by either Ene-Liis Semper or Mark Raidpere in Ireland.

Temple Bar Gallery and Studios acknowledge the support of the Embassy of Estonia in the presentation of both exhibitions.

Hanno Soans, Commissioner for the Estonian exposition at the Venice Biennale 2005, will lead a talk on the work of Ene-Liis Semper and Mark Raidpere and the current direction of Estonian visual art practice on Saturday 12th March, 12pm in the Atrium Space at TBG&S.

Ene-Liis Semper "Licked Room" & "FF/REW"

Ene-Liis Semper

Noel Kelly


Mark Raidpere "Father" & "Shifting Focus"

Mark Raidpere

Ene-Liis Semper