Jeppe Hein, Born 1974, Denmark
In “One-Two-Three”, the artist Jeppe Hein arranges mirrored posts in a curving serpentine line that creates three circular rooms: the largest space is made for three people, the second is meant for two to be open to dialogue, while the small curve enables the individual to reflect inward and outward. With the alternation between reflections of the viewers and of the surrounding landscape, a blurred perception of space arises that produces different perspectives. Reality and reflection combine to create a disorientating sensation akin to the experience of a maze, increasing as the viewer moves through the sculpture.
Hein is interested in the social, interactive element of his sculpture, which is activated by the viewer. He seeks to create art works where people can come together to see themselves and others in new ways. For Hein, art is a social space for engaging with others, for creating empathy, where viewers can glimpse a stranger through the reflective panes and smile at them.
While Hein is aware that looking in the mirror can seem vain and narcissistic, for him mirrors are not only about looking at ourselves but about looking outside of ourselves: “You meet other people when you enter the mirror pieces, you are reflected, you see your own I, for example. You open up. That is what I try to achieve with my works. People should have the courage to encounter themselves and others.”
Hein lives and works between Copenhagen and Berlin. His interactive sculptures and installations combine elements of humour with 1970s traditions of minimalism and conceptual art. Hein studied at the Royal DanishAcademy of Art between 1997 and 2003 and at the Sadelschule in Frankfurt between 1999 and 2000. He has had many international solo exhibitions, including “Please Touch the Art” with New York’s Public Art Fund in Brooklyn Bridge Park (2015), which drew record crowds. Hein's works are found in major public collections such as Tate in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Arken Kustmuseum, in Denmark, Museum für Moderne Kunst, in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles.
In 2009 the artist suffered a severe and well-documented burn out and completely changed his life to focus on slowing down. Since then, his experience of mental and physical breakdown and recovery has fed his work, which has evolved and gained a global reputation. As the artist comments: “I don’t think that I can directly change the world with my art, but I would like to achieve the opposite of what society is doing at the moment. I am concerned with deceleration, a smile, eye contact, with being in the moment and enjoying it.”