3rd March – 14th APRIL

PRIVATE VIEW: 2pm March 2nd 2013



The Objects of Culture brings together two British artists, Amanda Beech and Alison Jones who apply different methods and forms to approach a common theme. The lure of the visible, the desire to be visible and the ways in which our visibility are connected to power are central to both practices. What is an object of culture? What defines our culture? What images, ideas and thoughts do we gather around and call ‘our culture’?

This exhibition spread over the museum spaces of Ha Gamle Prestegard examines these questions from different perspectives. Whilst Jones’ work interrogates the dynamics of looking, being looked at and how subjects can be institutionalized and iconiclized as objects, Beech’s work examines the possibility of worlds that attempt to escape these objects altogether. Both artists’ works upset the standard configurations of representation to the point of certain forms of disorientation, delirium and even their annihilation. Here, in these images, power is abstract and dislocated, who is looking at what, and what is looking at who? What power do images hold as objects, actions and events? As objects of culture what part do we play in these stories and scenarios?

Both artists approach these questions with an immediacy, frankness and certainty in approach that overcomes any suspicion that these questions might bring about some crisis of the image. In direct opposition to this tragic form the works live and work through images as facets of a compelling nature, that are capable of particular kinds of force, and even violence. The works in their different medium share a sense of action in time and they grasp in explicit ways the event of their own making. In video media and in paint we as an audience are faced with the construction of works as a form of immediate performance in the present. This is where the material form of the work has an attacking modality, something that is alive, active and in action.

Across these two very different looking practices is the sense that knives are being sharpened and something needs to be said by art for the possibilities of art, the art world, the art audience and its ecologies. The works tackle the harder questions about how we value art, what art should be and how we decide what art is, the kinds of questions that could threaten the viability of their own making.