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Public Art Monday: “Please Touch the Art” by Jeppe Hein

On Mondays, we share our favorite public art works from Houston and around the globe with you. An essential component of our art consulting philosophy, we believe passionately in the transformative power of public art for both the individual and in communities. Check out previous Public Art Monday posts here.

The title of this three-part exhibition should serve as an indication that Copenhagen-born, Berlin-based conceptual artist Jeppe Hein has the type of waggish temperament that sways audiences of all ages, backgrounds and familiarity of art genres to easily spot an access point to engage with his whimsical creations.

Not to be confused with the irony of such works as Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, Hein’s manner not only welcomes audiences to become players in his imaginative, fanciful environments, it also requires such involvement in order to complete the artistic process. The artist’s approach, one that he’s been nurturing for more than 15 years, renders him a prime candidate to activate public spaces into vibrant scenes.

“Instead of the respectful distance demanded in museums, Hein’s work invites participation,” Public Art Fund director and exhibition curator Nicholas Baume explained in a prepared statement.

Let’s consider Appearing Rooms, one of three works that comprise Please Touch the Art. Described as a “systematically changing installation with walls of water that create rooms which appear and disappear,” Appearing Rooms encourages guests to meander about the fluid realm.

Appearing Rooms has been shown at the Hayward Gallery in London, Art Basel in Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach and the Perth International Arts Festival in Australia. It’s on view at the Brooklyn Bridge Park from May 17, 2015, through April 16, 2016.

Watch the video below of the original 2004 installation:

Image credit: König Galerie, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen. Jeppe Hein, Appearing Rooms, 2004.