Things come apart: The art of reordering things

25 August to 6 November 2016

Todd McLellan has a passion for taking apart everyday technical objects, ordering them and photographing them. The photos created as a result of this process are art works that impress the viewer with their soberness and their austere simplicity. The 34 photos on show at the HNF are being displayed for the first time in Europe.

The technical devices are dismantled by the Canadian artist into their individual parts and then photographed twice - once in a precise arrangement, the second time in the apparent chaos of a free fall. In this way, a smartphone is both an aesthetic witness to our technologically highly sophisticated time and a symbol of the impermanence of material things.

In his work, McLellan dedicates himself to both old and new design classics, from record players to typewriters to virtual reality spectacles. "I wanted to get inside these once-treasured, now rejected objects and show the world their quality and beauty," says the artist in describing his approach. In today's disposable society, many technical devices are no longer designed to be taken apart and repaired in the event of a defect. McLellan says that while deconstructing an object, he tries to understand how the individual parts fit together, and, in the process, comes to respect the larger whole.

The exhibition is enhanced by objects from the HNF.

Admission charges

The exhibition's visit is included in the permanent exhibition's admission charges.


Admission charges for this exhibition only:

Adults 3 Euro
Reduced price 1,50 Euro
Family ticket 7 Euro
Groups of 10 or more 2,50 Euro
Gruoups of 10 or more, reduced price 1,50 Euro

Entrance is free for general and vocational schools, colleges and universities, and for groups of young people on national service, both military and civilian, providing the visit has been notified in advance (service(at)hnf.de).