photo: KIOKU Keizo

Rotating Pyramid II

ArtistJeppe HEIN
Material/ Techniquemirror, technical apparatus
Size/ DurationH200×W200×D110cm
Copyright Notice© Jeppe HEIN
courtesy: Johann König, Berlin, 303 Gallery, New York, and SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo
Year of acquisition/ donation2011
DescriptionBorn in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Arts, Copenhagen. Hein produces sculptural pieces bringing together simple geometric shapes such as circles and squares in white or other non-colors, as well as mirrors and transparent materials in a way that is initially evocative of a 1960s minimalism. Yet Hein’s works conceal playful, humorous elements, sometimes beginning to move in response to the viewer, or offering other hidden surprises. These delightful pranks do away with any of the sense of tension toward the works on the part of their audience, and often aim at provoking communication between viewers. Hein has also contributed widely to the production of public art, such as fountains and unusually shaped benches.

A mirrored pyramid affixed to the wall slowly rotates. Mirrors, geometrical shapes such as pyramids, and the use of rotation are all common elements in Hein’s oeuvre, and in this sense the work provides a classic example of the artist’s key themes. In the sense that it doesn’t respond to the viewer’s movements, this piece is not interactive, but its slow rotation causes constant changes to the light falling on the surrounding walls of the exhibition space. The mirror reflects fragments of the ceiling, floor, and walls much like a kaleidoscope, sending the viewers’ standard senses into disarray and inducing a plethora of strange physical sensations. The differing planes of the mirror mean that it never reflects the full image of someone standing straight in front of it, and the bizarreness of this experience has many viewers naturally walking around the piece and peering at it from different angles to check what it will reflect where. Another version, "Rotating Pyramid", has sides of one meter in length.