Utopian Slumps is pleased to announce the opening of HOLEY HOLE! by represented artist Misha
Hollenbach on Thursday 26 May 2011. The exhibition is an extension of the ideas and forms related to
Hollenbach’s most recent solo at Family Gallery in Los Angeles, Do/No/Go Nuts!. ‘Misha Hollenbach has also dug himself into a hole full of mirrors. He reflects the world he sees around him. And for this task he ask you to peer through the ‘holy hole’.
The holy hole is an opening that literally leads nowhere at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, England.
Found behind the main altar, the hole measures approximately 100 x 30 cm, so to enter, one must get
down on their hands and knees. Legend has it that St Swithun was buried above the opening; thus,
pilgrims would crawl through the glorious hole to be under the presence of his bones despite the fact that
they saw nothing. And maybe there was nothing there since St Swithun’s head went to Canterbury Cathedral and his arm went to Peterborough Abbey. And the shrine had been rebuilt twice already.
…Look into the hole instead. There’s nothing not there, ya dig?’*
* Timothy Moore, ‘Oops’, HOLEY HOLE! publication, 2011
Misha Hollenbach’s practice merges contemporary culture with visionary primitivism. Working across the
mediums of installation, sculpture and collage, his work is driven by the notions of carnal desire and
primal need: a return to the basics and (un)basis of human existence. Gesturing toward the legacy of
Dadaism, Hollenbach reconfigures found objects and images to create new meaning through their surreal
and often confronting associations. While continuing an exploration of the material processes instigated in
Forewards (2010), the collages, prints and automatic ceramics comprising Holy Hole! represent a shift in
Hollenbach’s imagery — from a subversive iconography of pop culture to a fascination with both epic and
humble architectural monuments, on and in the ground.