© Images Ludger Paffrath
24 SEPTEMBER – 9 NOVEMBER 2002
On the 28th of September the exhibition 360° PRESENCE by Jeppe Hein is opening at Johann König, Berlin. In his interactive installations, the Berlin-based Danish artist points to the relation between the viewer and the exhibition space, between physical experience, movement, and spatial presence. The viewer is a constitutive part of the artwork. Without the viewer, Jeppe Heins Moving Benches, which at first sight appear to be simple museum benches, wouldn`t move. Only when sat on, the motor hidden inside start and they slowly cross the exhibition space.
In the same way, the work Jeppe Hein is showing at Johann König depends on the active participation of the viewer. 360° Presence is a 70 cm diameter ball made of steel, which starts moving as soon as someone enters the gallery space and only stops when the gallery is empty. As long as the movement sensors detect a physical presence in the exhibition room, the ball is continously moving. The gallery visitor has no chance to stop it or to control the direction the ball takes. It knocks the gallery walls, clashes with the radiators and collides with the room`s edges, and thereby will, if not destroy, aggressively mark the white cube.
As in all of Jeppe Hein`s artwork, the main issue is not the ball itself, nor its optical appearance, but the viewer`s physical experience of spatial transformation and the disturbance of the usual function and relation of viewer, artwork, and exhibition space. The recipient`s conventions of perception are literally „rolled over“ and the 70ties science-fiction movie Rollerball (Norman Jewison, Rollerball (1975)) comes to mind, in which a future society finds its regulative in a „Brot und Spiele“ scenario, in which their sports heroes are urged across the arena by an over-dimensioned metal ball.