About the work

JEPPE HEIN

ABOUT THE WORK


 

    JEPPE HEIN
    

Moving Neon Cube, 2004
Neon tubes
67 x 185 x 185 cm
Acquired with support from the C.L David Grant 

Moving Neon Cube and Fusion of Movement #11 recall the simple idiom of Minimalism. The works contain a reference to American artist Donald Judd who works with the simple, geometric shapes of the cube and who is famous for eradicating any trace of the artist’s presence from his works.

BETWEEN ART AND SCIENCE
Moving Neon Cube and Fusion of Movement #11 appear as a series of identical modules, machine-made in the same colour and material. The sculptures do not depict anything, they do not allude to any underlying purpose, nor are they expressions of the artist’s mental state. Rather they create meaning by placing the focus on us as viewers, on our movements in the room and on the varying distances and points of view which characterise our experience of the works. Thus Hein encourages us to relate to the works individually and to analyse them with a basis in our own movements.

Hein’s sculptures are derived from 1960s and ‘70s Minimalism which explored the artwork as catalyst for a direct physical experience of art and the surrounding space. But unlike the geometric form reductions of Minimalism, Moving Neon Cube and Fusion of Movement #11 are not completely void of traces of human activity. The individual modules are joined into a serpentine formation writhing across the raw concrete floor of the exhibition space. Hein has created the construction in collaboration with an engineer. With his stationary sculptures he has developed a special gyro energy which – for the first time and contradicting all specialist experience – makes the cubes rotate. By creating an “impossible” spatial and visual sensory experience of a dynamically moving cube, Hein engenders a situation wherein we as viewers are torn from our passive role and must suddenly deal with the sculpture and the space in which it functions. Thus the sculptures’ attitude towards the geometric form reductions of Minimalism is free and playful in their experimentation with the possibilities of having the fixed form shift around in a rotating movement.

Jeppe Hein’s art in general
Often Hein makes interactive works of art that focus on the relationship between work and viewer. Frequently his minimalist sculptures react to the viewer’s presence. In several of Hein’s works the interactive relation between work and viewer takes a disquieting turn. The installation Bear the Consequences, on display in Stockholm in 2003, belched flames towards the viewer while Berlin gallery Johann König in 2002 exhibited the work 360 Degrees Presence, a sensor controlled metal ball which started rolling around and destroying the exhibition space as soon as a visitor entered the room. Hein’s artistic production also includes works with a humorous bent which function as playful explorations of our individual and socially conditioned patterns of reaction.

ART AS COMMUNICATION
Hein works in subtle, high-tech works that subvert our expectations of what art is. His Minimalist inspired works react to or with the viewer, the communication always happening in a mutual interchange between the two. Hein’s works, however, often seem more readily accessible than the works of Minimalism, first and foremost because of their humorous, playful and concrete ways of creating a dialogue with the viewer. Indeed, they are often produced from the same industrial materials that Minimalism employed, and they often refer to Minimalism’s formal use of geometric structures and serial repetitions. Yet they overstep Minimalism’s absence of narrative by way of the hidden, built in technology e.g. reacting to the viewer’s physical interaction, producing unexpected, dynamic effects in the form of movement, light, fire, smoke, air or water.

Hein operates in the province between sculpture, installation, architecture and design, creating fascinating, changeable and unpredictable devices. They encourage being tested and explored; they function as platforms for social interaction and observation, prompting us to move around the room, contemplating the work from different angles, regarding our own patterns of reaction as well as those of other visitors, and thus ultimately entering into some form of social field of exchange and communication.

Arken
DK-2635 Ishøj
Tel: (+45) 43 54 02 22
Skovvej 100
Opening hours
Tuesday-Sunday: 10-17
Wednesday: 10-21
Monday: Closed
Admission fees
Adults: 95 kr.
Groups (min. 10): 80 kr.
Pensioniers: 95 kr.
Students: 75 kr.
Children under 18: Free
CLUB ARKEN: Free