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Exhibition of Interactive Work by Artist Jeppe Hein Announced in Indianapolis
Jeppe Hein, "Distance", 2004.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today that a multi-part exhibition of Copenhagen- and Berlin-based artist Jeppe Hein will premiere at the Museum in May 2010. Hein’s site-specific installation Distance will occupy all 4,000 square feet of the IMA’s McCormack Forefront Galleries. Hein is also creating an outdoor experiential artwork titled Bench Around the Lake on the Museum grounds for the inaugural installations in 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, which opens June 20, 2010.

“Hein’s engaging, playful works will take IMA visitors on peculiar and surprising routes through both the museum and the park. Like no other artist working today, Hein is able to create moments of incredulity, absurdity and joy,” said Sarah Green, associate curator of contemporary art at the IMA. “This two-part exhibition will highlight Hein’s ongoing investigations of interior and exterior space.”

Engaging with the architecture of the McCormack Forefront Galleries, Distance, on view from May 7 to September 5, 2010, will consist of a dynamic indoor rollercoaster track for a series of white plastic balls. When a visitor enters the gallery space, a sensor will react by setting in motion a ball that runs the length of a more-than-1,000-foot track. The track will pass between walls and navigate through loops, sharp curves and spirals within the circuit. A lone visitor may initially follow the ball triggered by his or her own entry quite easily, but as multiple visitors enter, a new ball will be set in motion every 15 seconds, causing visitors to lose track and experience the installation as an all-encompassing, interactive sculpture. Distance features a modular design of steel tracks, which have been configured in previous site-specific installations at venues like the ARos Kunstmuseum, Denmark, and Barbican Art Centre, London. Suggesting unconventional paths through the museum space, Distance at the IMA will begin on the bridge outside the Forefront Galleries and take a detour into the adjacent permanent collection display.

Opening on June 20, 2010, Hein’s outdoor experiential artwork commissioned for 100 Acres, Bench Around the Lake, imagines a playful and serpentine bench that emerges from the ground, twists, turns and submerges again in several locations around the park’s 35-acre lake. The benches will be made of powder-coated galvanized steel, and the form is an improvisation on the design of a basic park bench. Hein worked with IMA horticulturists and Indianapolis-based landscape architect Eric Fulford to select locations for the installation that will form a circuit around the lake, interacting with specific sites and natural phenomena within the park and along the bordering bank of the White River. A new application and interpretation of his acclaimed Modified Social Benches, Hein’s atypical designs for Bench Around the Lake similarly challenge the assumption that a bench is made for passive sitting. Encouraging the exploration of less-frequented areas of 100 Acres, Bench Around the Lake will provide visitors with opportunities to sit, look, listen, interact and play.

Jeppe Hein is widely known for his production of experiential, architectural and interactive artworks that are often activated by the audience. Unique in their formal simplicity and notable for their frequent use of humor, his works engage in a lively dialogue with the traditions of Minimalist sculpture and Conceptual art of the 1970s. Hein has created a series of cubes that refuse to sit still (Shaking Cube, 2004, and Burning Cube, 2005), and gallery benches that emit smoke (Smoking Bench, 2003) or are programmed to move when sat upon (Moving Benches 1 and 2, 2000). For the 2003 Venice Biennale, he exhibited visitor-activated walls of water (Space in Action / Action in Space, 2002).

Jeppe Hein was born in 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts of Copenhagen and at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, in Frankfurt, Germany. Hein’s work has been presented in recent solo exhibitions at ARoS: Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark; Sculpture Centre, New York; Musée d'Art contemporain de Nîmes, France; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; among many others. For the conclusion of his 2009 residency at Atelier Calder in Saché, France, Hein organized a project titled Circus Hein that brought together numerous artists, performers and designers in Saché and at the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain du Centre in Orléans, France. He is currently working on a major commission to be presented at the Danish pavilion at EXPO2010 in Shanghai.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art | Jeppe Hein | Sarah Green |

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