||Jeppe Hein I Residency from September 2009 to January 2010
COME ONE, COME ALL AND SEE THE AMAZING CIRCUS HEIN!
From September 2009 to January 2010 family Hein will stay at Alexander Calder’s Atelier in
Saché, France, as a part of an artist in residence programme. The overall theme
accompanying residence and artistic projects will be CIRCUS HEIN, inspired by Calder’s
During his stay in Paris 1926 - 1933 Alexander Calder created his Cirque Calder, a miniature
work of performance art made of wire and found materials. Among other things his circus
included trapeze artists, a belly dancer, a lion tamer and his lion, a cowboy with lasso, who
could catch a bull, a knife thrower and his assistant as well as a ringmaster. It is said that in
his circus, Calder developed some of the features of his later work. The Parisian avant-garde
came to see Calder’s circus performances and he was thus introduced to artists in Paris,
then the centre of the art world.
Circuses were very popular in the 1920’s, never before and never again so many circus
shows existed. Moreover, the circus was a famous motive of several artists, for example
George Seurat, Max Pechstein, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas and
We would like to revitalize the theme and tie up with Calder’s Circus project during our stay
at the Atelier. Referring to the Latin meaning of the word circus, we want to circle with people
under a big top organizing a series of acts like workshops with kids and adults from different
fields, talks and discussions about contemporary ideas and approaches, public projects and
group shows in an open artistic arena. All projects will deal with the theme art & circus and
focus on magic, illusion, performance, entertainment, participation, humour, sensations,
suspense, excitement and amusement.
We imagine to set up a company of performers that develops works alluding to traditional
circus acts like acrobatics, gymnastics with tumbling and trampoline, aerial acts with trapeze,
juggling, daredevil stunts like human cannonball, fire eating and breathing, knife throwing,
sword swallowing and magic shows, the performance of strongmen, tightrope walkers,
funambulists, animal tamers, stilt walkers, clowns, unicyclers, contortionistas, pantomimes,
conjurers and hoopers. Moreover, a new form of circus architecture will be designed, circus
sculptures with all kind of materials will be build, exploding cakes, rainbow popcorn, magic
candy and other typical circus food will be produced and a wallpaper using the colours and
motives of circus posters and publications will be printed.
Like most circuses CIRCUS HEIN will go on tour. The first opening date of the touring
exhibition will be at Atelier Calder and FRAC Orleans on December 12th. Afterwards the
circus will move to other places like Vera Cortês Gallery in Lisbon (February – April 2010),
Open Space at Art Cologne (April 2010) … to be continued.
SO YOU WANNA JOIN THE CIRCUS? IT’S SHOWTIME!