Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
Read about the artwork
Image Andreas Schmidt
Location: Talking Points, ground floor Wellcome Wing, IMAX escalator
Is Tall Better than Small? suggests a future in which genetic engineering leads to the 'quality control' of the human race. The installation has echoes in Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis which presents a glimpse of a world where men are dominated by machines and where politics and science join forces.
As visitors take the escalator from the ground floor of the Wellcome Wing to the IMAX Cinema, a series of ten pneumatic rods overhead move up and down, appearing to measure the height of those passing below. Viner intended to make an essentially useless machine that appeared to be processing visitors on a production line.
'It's a very eccentric piece of machinery. It's really massive, its point is purely visual, and its function non-existent!' Darrell Viner
British-born Darrell Viner (1946-2001) was a sculptor who worked with movement, sound and light. He created large-scale sculptures and installations in which motors allowed elements to move seemingly under their own momentum, or through interaction with the audience or performers.
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