May 2 - June 28 2003
Opening Friday May 2 from 17-19
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.
Galleri Nicolai Wallner