17 MARCH – 2 JULY 2023

"I don’t remember if I had an imaginary friend as a child, but I was told that I talked to myself a lot. Maybe it wasn’t a person I was addressing, but something happened in my imagination. Later in life, I discovered a kind of energy surrounding me. Even if it is only in my imagination, I feel it supports me, listens, and responds to me in a way. In my view, it is essential and precious to have someone you can talk to. That’s why my artistic approach focuses on creating situations where people meet and interact with each other. Like on my Modified Social Benches that encourage a dialogue between the person that sits next to you – whether it be imaginary or real." – Jeppe Hein

MODIFIED SOCIAL BENCH FOR VENICE #04 has been installed in the Olive Tree Patio at the Fundació Joan Miró. Its surprising, extravagant, and playful forms turn the museum’s central courtyard into a place where visitors can have fun, find inspiration and interact.

In establishing a dialogue between the work, the user, and their immediate environment, Hein invites spectators to contribute to completing the piece; thus he pushes the public into a physical activation of the work. Hein’s benches transform their surroundings into places of social activity that foster communication between their users. Consequently, they are part of a fun game based on intervention with a simple and evocative design that generates informal and imaginative encounters.

Having an imaginary friend is a psychological phenomenon in which a child forms a friendship with a person, character, or animal – or a blend of all three – that does not exist in the real world. Through their interaction with their invented friend, children learn about themselves and the world as they play and explore the vast territory of their imagination and their creativity.

"Imaginary Friends" is the title of an exhibition intended to give children insights into contemporary art in a lively and fun way while at the same time appealing to the playful spirit of visitors of any age. The exhibition curators Martina Millà, Head of Exhibitions at the Fundació Joan Miró, and Patrick Ronse, Director of Be-Part, a Belgian art center belonging to the cities of Kortrijk and Waregem, invite children of every age to connect with a group of artists and representative works and, through them, to develop their own understanding of art and the power of the imagination. MODIFIED SOCIAL BENCH FOR VENICE #04, 2019
Powder-coated aluminum
151 x 784 x 337 cm

© Images Davide Camesasca
© Fundació Joan Miró



Jeppe Hein (b. 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish artist based in Berlin. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Städel Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Jeppe Hein is widely known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks that can be positioned at the junction where art, architecture, and technical inventions intersect. 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. Jeppe Hein’s works often feature...
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