The fact that, this time, Stuart Shave’s gallery (Modern Art)is not ‘delighted to present a solo exhibition of new work by Yngve Holen’ but just ‘pleased’. Let me be clear about this. This show is utter shit from whichever angle we want to approach it and adds to my, already year long, question of who, in God’s earth, could buy such crap.
To be perfectly honest, I am starting to believe that Stuart Shave has no idea of what he is doing. His use of words is, to say the least, a matter of concern and is starting to come across as sheer perversion. Did his mother un-authorise his father when he was a child? That would be a very good Freudian explanation for the fact that feeding his collectors with shit seems to, somehow, give pleasure to the chubby gallerist.
Before moving forward, please, have a look at the images of the show and then read the following paragraph of the show’s official press release:
‘Yngve Holen’s sculptures draw upon industrial technologies and their relationships to production engineering, problems of replaceability, the consumer experience, and the images and discourses through which all these are represented. How are consumers allowed to visualise abstruse economic or industrial processes, and how are the consumers themselves visualised? Holen investigates industries such as commercial aviation, 3D technology, consumer appliances, and food’. What does he mean that he ‘investigates industries’? How on Earth can anyone serious call those concoctions as ‘sculptures’?
So what we can see are ‘a series of sculptures comprised of scale model airliners arranged beneath folds of plastic printed with thermographic images of an empty airline cabin. Sides of meat have been scanned and 3D printed. Printed thermographic images are shown on the walls. A video made from POV footage recorded by the artist as a passenger onboard various flights is channelled on engraved HD screens’. Wow! Groundbreaking! Bloody hell!
It would be pointless to address this show from a (Clement) Greenbergian point of view, because he hated this kind of ‘art’. This kind of art, according to his book ‘Modern and Postmodern’, should be considered ‘as part of the progressive democratisation of culture that has been taking place since the mid-nineteenth century, threatening the level of both aesthetic quality with the social rise of a semi-educated middle class and the loss of the authorities that establish and preserve values’. Could we consider Stuart Shave’s collectors as ‘semi-educated’? I am starting to think that that would be an overstatement.
From a (Theodor) Adorno perspective, inter-medial art (such as Holen’s) should always refer to the limits of the disciplines (media) that allow that ‘inter-mediality’ to happen. Is this show questioning ‘sculpture’ and ‘painting’ as such? No, because, apparently Holen is too busy investigating ‘the food industry’!!!
I must confess that with all my interest and formation in art, I feel helpless in front of these ‘objects’. They try to place themselves on threshold between areas that are very difficult to define and even though this might come across as a very cool provocation, to me it is just infantile and tacky. Just a thought.