November 7 - December 20 2014

Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Jeppe Hein. Translated from Norwegian, the word “stillhet” refers to a silence, and it is with this idea of silence that the conceptual underpinnings of the exhibition can be found. Here, the idea of silence does not refer to a negation, as if something is missing or has been removed. Rather, it signals the presence of an openness—an opportunity to let other things come to the forefront, allowing for a focus on what exists in the space of such silence.

The question thus becomes what does exist in this silence. The ideas of the internal and external become very present, as the body and the physical world, and the moments in which they come together take on new importance. Open to new experiences, the self and the space are conceived of not as two separate entities, but a singular phenomenon—an active consciousness that moves freely and thinks freely tougher with its environment. With this in mind, the spectator’s presence within the exhibition takes on an important role, as their thoughts and actions within the space add additional layers of understanding, creating a dialogue with not only the works, but with others around them.

As such, divisions are blurred as internal becomes external. With the series Breathing Watercolours, the intimate act of breathing is physically manifested through large brush stokes, with each line emulating the breathing in and the breathing out. The work Smells like … Stillhet focuses on the olfactory system, with a scent specifically designed by Hein diffused into the air, allowing the spectator to explore what personal ideas and feelings are brought up.

In Stillhet and I Don’t Expect Anything But I’m Open for Everything, the respective phrases are written in neon behind two-way mirror, allowing the words to float over the reflection of the spectator and the space. Looking through the mirror, one’s situation and sense of self are put into perspective, with the phrases serving as a kind of intermediary, asking the spectator to place them in a certain context.

Third Eye is composed of a tall square column made of two-way mirror. Within the cavity of the column, a candle is placed at eye level in such a way that only its flame can be seen. At such a height, as the flame combines with the reflection of the spectator, it produces the illusion of a third, inner eye, a beacon of ideas of enlightenment and intellectual thought.

With each work, Hein asks the spectator to examine how our internal self affects the external world, and inversely how the external world affects the internal self.

This year, a book entitled Stillhet written by Finn Janning in connection with Jeppe Hein will be published, a philosophical essay written after a twenty day pilgrimage they took together this year in Norway, in silence.

Jeppe Hein (b.1974) has exhibited around the world, with notable solo exhibitions at Amos Anderson Art Museum (Helsinki), Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm), Neues Museum Nurnberg (Nuremberg), FRAC Ile de France (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Hayward Gallery (London) P.S.1. MoMA (New York), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa), and Kunstverein Heilbronn (Heilbronn). His works feature in many public collections, such as Tate Gallery (London), FNAC (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen), and ARKEN (Ishøj).

carrie emberlyn