Projekt, selle tulemusel sündivad näitus ja raamat „Eesti lugu kunstis” võtavad Eesti Vabariigi 100. juubelil vaatluse alla kunstnike rolli Eesti ajaloomälu kujundajana. Tähelepanu leiavad reaalselt toimunud ajaloosündmuste, nende eellugude ja järelmõjude, aga ka minevikuteemaliste fantaasiate pildilised kujutised. Eesti kunstnike loodud ajaloopildid võimaldavad arutleda mitme olulise küsimuse üle: kuidas on kultuurimälus ringlevad ajalootõlgendused mõjutanud kunsti ja kultuurielu, kuidas kunst peegeldab ja kujundab suhtumist ajalukku ning kuidas aitab vormida erinevaid identiteete.
The objective of the project is to examine and highlight the role of artists in the formation and perception of Estonian history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This project, mainly focusing on Estonian and Soviet Estonian views of history, continues the study of Baltic historical images which started with the project focusing on the Baltic German interpretations of the past “When the Artist Met Clio: Historical Scenes from the Nineteenth Century”. The project departs from the ‘visual turn’ in humanities which started in the 1990s, arguing that visual sources (including works of art) are equal to written sources for studying both history and the present day. In the framework of the project, we analyse historical images of the Estonian past created by artists, examining them above all as sources of their contemporary artistic and memory culture and politics. By historical images, we mean depictions of actual historical events, and reconstructions of the everyday life of the people, as well as more metaphorical treatments of or fantasies about the past. In this project, the focus is on the depicted motif (event, person, message, moral etc.) and on the analysis of its role in the formation of Estonian history and nation building, rather than on weighing the artistic quality of the work. This multidimensional project, including a number of sub-actions, takes into account the different historical backgrounds of the Estonian population and foreigners, provides opportunities for a dialogue between various groups and their often conflicting interpretations of history, and teaches the current youth to read visual representations of history more carefully.