Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen
artist / participant
It is a great pleasure to present Presenting/Representing, the first solo exhibition in Denmark by Jeppe Hein. Later this year he will participate in exhibitions at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Skulpturenpark, Graz, Foundation La Caixa, Barcelona, Museum fŸr moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and Biennale di Venezia.
Working with a Minimalist aesthetics Jeppe Hein approaches aspects of spectator ship and the art institution. His relationship to the Minimalist art of the 1960s seems one of contrast and addition. The works aesthetically lend themselves quite willingly to the system one normally uses to define Minimalist art. They are clearly defined forms, devoid of any trace of the artistic process, smooth and homogenous. Whereas the relationship between art and spectator essentially is detached and static within Minimalist art, the works of Jeppe Hein aim to actively involve the spectator, forcing him or her to be an dynamic part of the art. In respect to this it is not the 1960s that comes to mind but the more closely interwoven spectator-art relationship of pre modernist art. A connection the artist has fully explored in his outdoor installations that recall Baroque fountains .
The work "No Presence" consists of different coloured neon tubes with a motion sensor. They are arranged in a twelve faceted cube resembling a globe. The motion sensor ensures that it only lights up when there is no one in the room. In a very direct way this work deals with the relationship between art and spectator. "No Presence" resists the spectator, becoming dormant when it senses his or her presence. The use of neon recalls notions of "aura", making it even more frustrating as the work refuses to share this with us.
Another work for this show is "Changing Space" , a wall that slowly moves through the gallery room. The movement is too slow to perceive at first glance, but is noticed more and more as the wall are closing in on the spectator. The white surface blends perfectly in with the surrounding walls, placing the work in a cross point between sculpture, architecture and installation art. Most noticeably, this work deals with notions of "The White Cube" as a special privileged space for the spectator. In "Changing Space" the guest are pushed aside as the wall slowly but inevitable proceeds its course through the room. The hierarchy is turned upside down and the spectator is subordinated the art.
The works of Jeppe Hein all revolve around the act of presenting art. The boundaries of the white cube are explored, and traditional power structures between art and spectator are challenged. Indulgence gives way to resentment and new spatial relations arise when the art starts to refuse the spectator. Presenting, representing- resenting, we welcome you in the gallery. Pressetext
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