(b. 1982, Germany)
“Finger in Eye, Handle Through Brain,” 2011
Handles, 3D-printed laser scanned water, left and right contact lenses, moodboard on self-adhesive sticker foil
Images Rendered Bare. Vacant. Recognizable.
Holen’s sculptural moodboards, “Finger in Eye, Handle Through Brain,” consider information flow in the digital age through the visual metaphors of both imaging technology and the split structure of the brain. His compositions comprise stock images of materials signaling a state of dichotomy: both soft and hard, right and left, creative and logical. The poles penetrating the piece, in actuality bike handlebars, further suggest such dichotomies—the top, rigid and straight, the bottom curvy and crooked. Holen’s moodboards also allude to the long-deceased railway worker Phineas Gage, whose skull and frontal lobe were pierced by a large iron rod amidst an accidental explosion while working. Though Gage remarkably survived, his personality was drastically changed. Gage’s injury precipitated the nascent study of the human brain’s functionality in the 19th century. Combined with his “faked” scans of water (a heretofore technological impossibility), Holen gestures toward the limits of science and technology in the understanding of human behavior.
Holen studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria and sculpture at the HfBK Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include Parasagittal Brain at Johan Berggren Gallery in Malmö, Sweden (2011) and Half Asleep to the 2010 Hot 1001 at Neue Alte Brücke in Frankfurt am Main. He was included in the survey exhibition Based in Berlin at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and co-organizes the club night Body Xerox. With Marlie Mul, he is the co-founder and editor of the online publishing platform XYM.