Jeppe Hein «The Big Mirror Ball» 2003.

Jeppe Hein, Big Mirror Ball
Big Mirror Ball, 2003
Polished steel, motor, sensors, 70cm dia.

Hein's project consists of a metal sphere, approximately thirty inches in diameter, which moves freely about the spaces of the gallery: Sensors set it in motion whenever someone enters.
Jeppe Hein, Big Mirror Ball
The big Mirror Ball, 2003
Œuvre du Fonds national d'art contemporain - CNAP
Photographie de Y. Chenot © CNAP

As if due to inertia, the sphere's movement is rather slow, but also unpredictable and nonlinear - it strikes visitors, bumps into the wall, stops for a bit and then starts again unexpectedly, depending on the type of stimulus it receives. Thus the public provokes a reaction but cannot truly control it. For the object itself, there's no longer the possibility of stability: particularly within the context of a crowded opening, it becomes one of many elements in motion, interrogating the relationships between work and viewer, at play with the contemporary demand for a flexible and dynamic space. As in his other work, which is often located at the intersection of architecture and sculpture, Hein has presented a device that exists only in relationship to the spectator or other works in the show, and which strikes a curious balance between interaction and disturbance, dialogue and annoyance. Here Pistoletto's sphere of newspapers comes to mind, along with its social and political message; one also thinks of Gabriel Orozco's sphere that rolled through the streets, lightly picking up all kinds of rubbish. Hein's sphere recalls even more a game of magic, or a moment from Rollerball, or a children's game, enlarged; minimalism in motion, now rather more fun and democratic. ~ Luca Cerizza, translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore,