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Installation: Reflecting space

Barcelona, 21 October 2003

Seven chromed steel spheres slowly roll over the CaixaForum lobby’s white floor, endlessly, and without destination. This is Reflecting Space, an interactive installation that artist Jeppe Hein (Copenhagen, 1974) has created specifically for this grand entry and meeting space. The seven spheres begin the day grouped in the middle of the lobby. At 10 am, they begin their slow, autonomous course, each in a different direction. They are not programmed; they roll in a constant wander about the space with no fixed destination. They only change direction when something blocks their path or keeps them from advancing. What’s more, each sphere’s chrome-plated surface is a mirror that reflects various scenarios in its wandering. Visitors approaching a sphere will see a distorted image of themselves and their surroundings, in continuous movement. Reflecting space forms part of Open spaces, the series of artistic projects underway at the CaixaForum building, officially opened last season with installations by Chema Alvargonzalez and Soledad Sevilla.

Jeppe Hein’s Reflecting Space can be visited in the CaixaForunm lobby (Avda. del Marquès de Comillas, 6-8), from 23 October, 2003 to 1 February, 2004.

Jeppe Hein conceives his works with movement to alter the expected order of things. His field of action consists of the spaces devoted to art, which are unsettled with what seem to be amusing devices. His aim: to captivate and disturb visitors with unusual, unexpected scenes. Using moving walls or benches, lamps that light up only when the hall is empty or water jets that besiege the visitor, Hein loves to surprise the visiting public, all too accustomed to taking a contemplative, passive attitude.

With a keen interest in the mechanism of human perception, Hein creates apparently simple works that are in reality technologically sophisticated. His work combines sculpture, installation, design and architecture, and features interaction with the site where it is displayed. With the lobby of CaixaForum as his scenario, Hein has planned an installation that turns the space into a dynamic area in which architecture and visitor are blended in a continuous reflection. Spectators can not only observe their own images reflected on the chrome-plated surfaces of any of the seven steel spheres, but also become an observation object. Thus, Hein emulates the movements of the varied public, also establishing a multitude of individualised dialogues with the visitors who cross or stroll around the facility.

Jeppe Hein’s artistic career began in 1997, and despite his youth, it has been surprisingly intense. Over the past three years, he has carried out some thirty specific projects for museums and public spaces, especially those performed in Kiel and in the Frankfurter Kuntsverein (2001), in Cologne’s Museum Ludwig and in the Musée d’Art Contemporain of Bordeaux (2002). In 2003, Hein presented his work at the Royal College of Art in London, and in the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. He participated in the Venice Biennial last June.

The Reflecting space installation forms part of the Open spaces cycle, a programme of modern artists’ interventions throughout the architecture of CaixaForum and the area outside the exhibition halls. The cycle was opened last season with Chema Alvargonzalez’s massive light installation (Puntosdeluz.net) and a project by Soledad Sevilla in the Secret Garden (Season of tears).

Reflecting space
23 October, 2003 to 1 February, 2004

Av. Marquès de Comillas, 6-8
08038 Barcelona
Tel.: 902 22 30 40

Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm
Mondays, closed

Discussion with artist
Wednesday, 3 December (8 pm)
Discussion session with artist Jeppe Hein and Nimfa Bisbe, director of ”la Caixa” Foundation’s Contemporary Art Collection

Free admission


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