The Danish artist Jeppe Hein is famous for making benches, fountains and a bar. Many Scandinavians have walked in his sculpture Path of Silence at the Kistefos Museum outside Oslo. You’re hereby invited to look, feel and play with the Berlin-based Danish artist.
Hein studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art between 1997 and 2003 and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt between 1999 and 2000 (while registered as an associate student of the Danish Academy). As a student Hein was co-founder of OTTO, a non-commercial organization that organized art exhibitions at various venues in Denmark between 1997 and 2000.
Hein’s art addresses the senses and curiosity of the audience. You don’t really know if you should call his works art, architecture or technology. However, the viewer is always of the utmost importance to him. He is particularly known for large sculptures and installations in the outdoor space, often with a social and interactive dimension.
Between September 2009 and January 2010, Hein stayed at Alexander Calder’s studio in Saché, France, as a part of an artist in residence program. In the middle of the magnificent Norwegian nature Hein has installed his greatest work till date, Path of Silence.
Kristan Sveaas’ sculpture park Kistefos at Jevnaker outside Oslo houses five of the artist’s modified social benches – made in a blue color that is exclusive to the museum. They bulge and challenge the way we sit, and appear to be connected underground. First and foremost, a formidable labyrinth of water, nature and 450 steel columns is just a short walk away, which with its several hundred square meters is the largest installation the Dane has ever made. Hein had the mission in mind while going on a pilgrimage from Dombås in 2014. When he came back, the idea was ready.
Eye of the North is an eight-meter-high and five-meter-wide mirror installation located on Lofoten, Norway. Standing on a small hill, the installation is visible from afar and allows visitors to look into the landscape. The elliptically shaped sculpture, with a concave vaulted front and a convex vaulted back, has a round opening in the middle with a diameter of 1.5 meter that can be reached via a small stair.
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“My works are an incongruous dialogue between the art and the viewer and to use humor to broaden the limits of conceptual art. I want to show that the work isn’t anything on its own, it is only what the public informs it with. The viewers’ role brings the piece to the center of attention,” he says.