Have you visited Manchester recently? If so, you may have encountered an unsettling figure or two. Made from black plastic bags, the Hello Hollow sculptures by artist Julian Hetzel descended on the city in March.
Shifting subtly in the wind and eerily anthropomorphic, the figures are designed to be “short-lived and changeable.”
Hetzel describes the sculptures as interference. “People get confused because they don’t know what they are seeing.”
He comments that in Manchester, more than anywhere else he’s taken them, including locations in Austria, the Netherlands and Germany, the reaction they’ve provoked is fear. It’s a detail he attributes to the city’s high incidences of homelessness. With their fragile ephemeral qualities, they raise questions about vulnerability, threat, and the perceived value of human life.
The installation is part of SICK! Festival, which aims to challenge the physical, mental and social challenges of life through art.