testing ground for art & ecology
22 juni - 25 augustus 2019

Clean Society


Clean Society,  HeHe
het Glazen Huis, June 22 to August 25, 2019
opening Saturday June 22, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Zone2Source has invited HeHe – an artist duo consisting of Helen Evans and Heiko Hansen – to develop a new project in the context of our program around art, nature and technology in the Glass House in the Amstelpark.

In their work, HeHe often humorously questions the ever-present energy needs of contemporary life, and visualizes the social, industrial and ecological contradictions that result from our technological landscapes. To do this, they use a language of light, sound and image in a practice in which they often use digital media to investigate the relationship between the individual and their contemporary urban environment. By making our consumption behavior and its effects visible, they make urgent ecological issues and the question of responsibility a public debate.

The actors in HeHe’s performative installations are the machines themselves: oil platforms, nuclear power plants, incinerators, cars, cranes, trains and the electrical and digital means of mass consumption. Installed in public space or in staged settings, the machine becomes a theatrical tool that is placed in apocalyptic landscapes and unnatural lighting. With their work, HeHe attempts to reflect on the existing technological systems that surround us and weave a renewed imagination around them.

CleanSociety, specially designed for zone2source, is an exhibition about waste. It is a continuation of HeHe’s research and obsession with reproducing power plants in miniature. The title of the exhibition comes from Amsterdam’s Waste Energy Company (AEB), the world’s largest Waste to Energy company, which promotes its services with the slogan ‘for a clean society’. Clean Society makes a connection with a lesser-known part of Amsterdam’s landscape by bringing a model replica of the facade of the waste incineration factory into the pavilion. The second part of the exhibition consists of a documentary space about factories. HeHe owns a large collection of posters depicting factories and their smoke emissions, which are shown together with a selection of posters from the collection of the Laka Foundation (documentation & research center for nuclear energy). In the back area of ​​the pavilion, HeHe’s monumental artwork Nuage Vert, about the emissions from the largest waste incinerator in Paris, is shown as a video projection.

The artists bring the infrastructure (the incinerator), the material (waste) and communication around energy and waste into the exhibition space. Man-made clouds not only symbolize pollution, but have also represented various ideas of productivity, wealth, labor, energy, revolution, aberrant mental states, and the power of the human imagination. In post-industrial society, a sanitized version of the factory production metaphor, without any reference to pollution, was appropriated by the cultural industries. How is the idea of ​​heavy industry and infrastructure connected to art’s ability to illuminate the delicate relationship between production and emissions?

HeHe creates a disturbing and poetic experience that is far removed from the idyllic experience of nature that the park represents, and brings back questions about consumption and waste production to the residents of Amsterdam.

Clean Society Brochure

Clean Society Program

Het Glazen Huis