Clean Society – HeHe
Clean Society, HeHe
het Glazen Huis, June 22 – August 25, 2019
opening Saturday June 22, 4 – 6 PM
Zone2Source invites HeHe – an artists duo consisting of Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen – to develop a new project in the context of our program on art, nature and technology in het Glazen Huis in the Amstelpark.
Their work questions the social, industrial and ecological paradoxes found in today’s technological landscapes. Using a language based on light, sound and image, their practice explores the relationship between the individual and their urban environment. By making our consumption behavior and the effects visible they bring urgent environmental issues and the question of responsibility into the public debate.
The actors of HeHe’s performance installations are the machines themselves: oil rigs, nuclear power plants, incinerators, cars cranes, and the electric devices of mass consumption. Installed in real world environments or eerie staged settings, the machine becomes a theatrical device. Using humour, romance and ingenuity, their work opens alternative readings to the narrative of ecology versus industry.
Clean Society is an exhibition about waste. It is a continuation of HeHe’s research and work around Man-Made Clouds and extends their obsession with recreating power plants in miniature. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Amsterdams ‘Afval Energie Bedrijf’, the worlds largest waste to energy company, who promotes its services with the slogan “for a clean society”. HeHe makes a link with a lesser known part of the city, as we prefer to keep our waste out of sight, by creating a model replica of the facade of the incinerator inside the exhibition space.
The second part of the exhibition consists of a documentary space about factories. HeHe has an ongoing collection of posters depicting factories and their smoke stack emissions which will be shown side by side withselected posters from the collection of the Laka Foundation (documentation & research centre on nuclear energy) In the back space of the pavillion HeHe’s monumental art work ‘Nuage Vert’, on the emissions of Paris biggest incinerator, is shown as a video projection.
The artists bring the infrastructure (the incinerator), the material (waste) and the communication around energy and waste inside of the exhibition space. Far from being simply a sign of pollution, the factory cloud has been manipulated to represent divergent ideas such as productivity, wealth, labour, energy, revolution, altered mental states and the power of the human imagination. In post-industrial culture, a sanitised version of the factory production metaphor has been appropriated by the cultural industry, where all references to ideas of pollution are absent. How does the idea of heavy industry and infrastructure relate to art to illuminate the delicate relationship between production and emissions?
HeHe creates an eerie and poetic experience in het Glazen Huis, which is far removed from the idylic experience of nature the park proposes, and brings questions around consumption and waste production in direct relation to the residents of Amsterdam.
about the artists
HeHe, Helen Evans (UK, 1972) and Heiko Hansen (Germany, 1970), are an artist duo based in Le Havre, France. HeHe have installed large-scale works in public space. Bridging between media arts, design and contemporary art, they has participated in exhibitions across a range of institutions including the Palais de Beaux-Arts (Bruxelles), Parc D’Arte Viventi (Turin), MAXXI (Rome), National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Biennale de Lyon, San José Museum of Art, Biennale Internationale Design (St Etienne). HeHe is represented by the gallery Aeroplastics Contemporary in Bruxelles.