Roger Hiorns opens at Ikon

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“You always have to think about materials and objects in terms of being malleable – you have to cut them off from what their established use is, to directly interfere with their world-ness, it becomes a process of human empowerment to re-use and re-propose the power of objects simply left lying in the street.” Roger Hiorns, December 2016.

Ikon, Birmingham, presents a major exhibition of the artist Roger Hiorns, whose work will be on view until 5 March 2017 and curated by Ruth Noack. Hiorns has recently made new paintings with copper sulphate on view in the exhibition and continues his exploration of philosophical concepts such as skepticism, the fragility of the contemporary mind and the impact of the machine on human research.

Jet engines often occur in Hiorns’ work. By injecting a US military aircraft engine with anti-depressants, he toys with the possibility of affecting some kind of robotic nervous system, reflecting his ongoing interest in the anthropomorphism of machinery. In his Youth series (1999 to the present), the encounters between a jet engine and a naked young man suggest not only mysterious communion, but also melancholy. Ripped from the wing of an aeroplane, and partly dismantled, the engine is positioned like a remnant from classical antiquity, instilling awe as if being contemplated at some point in the distant future when air travel as we now know it no longer exists the press release said.

Image: Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2011, Military aircraft engine, fire, youth, Dimensions variable, Courtesy the artist. © Roger Hiorns. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016.