We are so used to art galleries being full of bold large works that it is a shock to find two gallery spaces with only seven works, each relatively small and hanging alone on an uncluttered pure wall. There is something both sinister and religious about Norwegian/German artist Yngve Holen’s ‘Corpus Quality’, with his seven small bronze statues hung, one in the centre of each white wall, almost like a crucifix in a cathedral.
But these are not religious figures, far from it. On show at Modern Art’s gallery between Islington and Old Street, they are based on a series of LEGO figures ‘The Legends of Chima’, which were sold from 2013 to 2015 with seven cyborgs representing tribes fighting each other for CHI, a natural resource and their main life force. Aficionados of the world of action toys will recognise them immediately.
Holen’s work, generally on a larger scale, explores technologies that allow humans to do things differently, which can be both good and bad. Why, for example, is it that human immigration officers are still often much more efficient and faster than those e-gates that are replacing them in airports all around the world.
These sculptures, being linked to LEGO toys also asks questions about technology and its impact on children as they play and develop.