Johnson ja Johnson

Soundcheck, 2007

2 sculptures, painted plastic, both ca. 150x170x200 cm


The two-piece sculpture “ Soundcheck” by artist duo Johnson and Johnson (Indrek Köster and Taavi Talve) raises the question of the racial and ethnic sensitivity of Estonia’s inevitably globalizing society. The work consists of two stylized sculptures with their skin color reversed – one of which has Negroid and the other Caucasian facial features. Although socially stigmatized characteristics are changed they are united by national symbolics, just as to ask if Estonian culture is Estonia’s property. “Soundcheck” is a soundcheck, but the problem here lies not necessarily within the sound but within the audience.

The sculpture group was deposited with the EKKM by the authors and it is one of the few artworks that are permanently exhibited.


Artist’s statement from the exhibition “Sculpture speaks: Power and Freedom”.

“Can an Estonian in a Mulk coat withstand the presence of Ukrainian and Russian choral at the local songfestival? Can an African put a cornflower in his buttonhole? Is a foreign worker allowed only to work or is peeing in the junipers and organizing beer festivals reserved only for Estonians? Is Eesti Energia’s accumulated capital outflows to Jordan’s oil shale fields an Estonia’s Business?

“Soundcheck” is a control signal from the stage. Will we hear a “tolerant” silence, neo-Nazis screaming or anything else depends on the audience. “