Critics’ Picks

View of “Yngve Holen: World of Hope,” 2015.

View of “Yngve Holen: World of Hope,” 2015.


Yngve Holen

Galerie Neu
Linienstraße 119
March 20–April 18, 2015

For his exhibition “World of Hope,” Yngve Holen presents six identical, industrially produced casings of SOMATOM Force CT Scanners, the latest high-end product of its kind by Siemens. Holen does not present these objects in a neutral way, but dresses them fetishistically with custom-fit black, white, or yellow mesh of stretch fabric, which he produced with Claus Rasmussen. In the Freudian tradition, fetishes are generally understood as supplements, allowing subjects to stabilize their ideals and fantasies. If Holen’s sculptures are commenting on this phenomenon as it relates to technology—a significant topic for many artists of his generation—he is pointing to the fact that the meaning of our ambiguous fantasies and discontents is doubtlessly linked to the fear of death and the desire to maximize pleasure.

The titles of the works are taken from interviews with professionals and stars of the porn industry and with plastic surgeons, which were published in the second edition of ETOPS, a magazine edited by Holen, Matthew Evans, and Per Törnberg. The conversations therein shed light on the fantasies and fears of the actors, who describe their pleasure in becoming objects of desire and the hope of reaching eternal youth and immortality. Obviously linked with the development of human technology, this is reflected in the name ETOPS itself, an acronym for “Extended Range Twin-Engine Operations Performance Standards,” which refers to a freedom for certain aircrafts to fly long-distance routes that were formerly illegal. In Holen’s show, it points metaphorically to the upward mobility of our “hopeful” human culture.