Kunsthalle Basel

Yngve Holen

12 May - 14 Aug 2016

Yngve Holen
Hater Headlight, 2016
photo: Philipp Hänger
12 May – 14 August 2016

The human body, it is often said, is conspicuously absent in the work of the Norwegian German artist Yngve Holen (b. 1982). Yet everywhere in his oeuvre, the implications of the body—its subjectivity, messy corporeality, and imbrications in a culture of consumption—are evoked. Disemboweled washing machines, bisected water coolers, MRI-scanned and 3D-printed smashed cell phones: Holen has used them all in previous works. His predilection for things that are at one remove from the humans who make, buy, or use them is shaped by an interest in the technologies that define our everyday surroundings, from transportation and plastic surgery to industrial food production and security systems. In VERTICALSEAT, his largest institutional show to date, Holen presents an array of new objects that magnify the corporeal questioning that sits at the heart of his practice.

VERTICALSEAT refers to the eponymous standing chair (although back support with a seat belt might better describe it) that budget airlines are lobbying to introduce in order to transport more people in a reduced amount of space. The scheme speaks to one of the many ways society’s stratification of wealth and power continues to have concrete implications for the body. Holen’s work points to the connections between the proliferation of new technologies and our ever more ironclad cultures of control.

Tags: Yngve Holen