James Prevett & Berit Talpsepp-Jaanisoo, 09.10. – 08.11. 2020, Kunsthalle Turku

James Prevett and Berit Talpsepp-Jaanisoo came together through their shared concern for ancient and traditional sculpture particularly in relation to contemporary technological societies. This exhibition pursues their common interest in the power of things (objects/sculpture) to affect us – do they take on a life of their own? Do they speak to us? Do we respond? Jan Verwoert calls this an ‘energy field of relations’ that grows around the thing and yourself. ‘That energy field is called “the public”. (The word “thing” stems from “Ting” the name given by Nordic cultures to tribal gatherings held in order for common concerns to be determined and decided, corresponding to the Roman notion of res publica).’ 

Both Prevett and Talpsepp-Jaanisoo are influenced by classical sculpture from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and its ‘public’ function as an embodiment of something rather than a simple representation. Objects and sculpture held a power to be something other, or to access something – often pantheistic Gods or Demi-Gods. We do not live in those times. The objects of our culture are synthetic and seductive. Through their sculptures and drawings Prevett and Talpsepp-Jaanisoo are interested in creating a place for a conversation of things and people rooted in the past yet pointing to the future. An exhibition of interesting things, affective things, energy fields of relations. Maybe this is magic. Maybe this is a little mad. Maybe they are just dumb objects. Maybe this can create potential, to access a different state of being and to resist other mode of being without direct politics. 

 The exhibition was supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.