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Laura Põld, Lou Sheppard: Walking Talking Minerals

5–28 November 2021

Opening 4 Nov 2021, 6–8 pm

Laura Põld

Lou Sheppard

As we face an increasingly and irrevocably changed climate, the word apocalypse is frequently on our lips. Apocalypse comes from the Greek root kaluptein: to uncover, which suggests that in the destruction of life as we know it something else may be uncovered and revealed. Mining – the generative action of our extractivist economy – uncovers minerals from their deep underground sleep to be recombined and reworked for our purposes. As the building blocks of life minerals contain their own animate potential. What are we extracting? Are these resources inert matter or the driving force of life on earth? When we mine them what lively potential are we uncovering? What apocalypses are we enacting?

Lou Sheppard and Laura Põld trace the animate potentials of minerals as they cycle through ecologic and economic networks – rock cycles, food cycles, currency cycles, techno cycles — attending to their phenomenological matterings. Attuning to the social and political repercussions of human-mineral alliances both artists explore what a post-human, post-apocalyptic environment might look like in the future, and has looked like in the past.

The exhibition consists of four interconnected works which resulted from a period of collaborative research performed in quarantine between Canada and Austria/Estonia. Põld’s lively objects invite visitors into a humming vibrant landscape, scored by political, economic and agricultural desire. Sheppard’s three channel video work surrounds these objects with post-human drag performers who imagine and reflect on their apocalyptic present.

Laura Põld’s work deals with the situated and subjective sense of territory and place. Her work includes witnessing and participating in engagements between various material bodies and forces. Her installations grow as site-specific co-evolutions of textile, thread, soil, ceramics, clay, sometimes edible matter and plants. Põld studied ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts, painting at the University of Tartu and sculptural conceptions and ceramics at the University of Art and Design Linz. Since 2010, Põld has been working as a freelance artist and has participated in numerous exhibitions and residencies all over the world. Põld received the grand prix of the Köler Prize in 2016, the main award in the field of visual and applied arts of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia for 2018 and the Claus Michaletz Preis in 2021. Laura Põld lives and works in Tallinn and Vienna.

Lou Sheppard is a Canadian artist working in an interdisciplinary audio, performance and installation based practice. Lou graduated from NSCAD in 2006, and then Mount Saint Vincent University in 2013. He has exhibited work and participated in residencies throughout Canada, in Europe and in the US. Sheppard received the Emerging Atlantic Artist Award in 2017 and has been long listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Lou’s work pays queer attention to systems of meaning-making and how these systems construct and order our bodies and environments. His research and phenomenological navigations are presented as scores, often performed with other artists and citizen performers, which notate how these systems mediate our experiences and question how we might experience differently. Lou lives on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq, in Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia.

The exhibition is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Republic of Estonia – Ministry of Culture

Image: Marley O’Brien in The Exquisite Corpse, Lou Sheppard, 2021

Additional information:


Itäinen Rantakatu 8

20700 Turku, Finland

+358 45 899 8772


Tue–Fri 12.00–18.00

Sat–Sun 12.00–16.00


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