Jeppe Hein´s ‘Modified Social Benches’ are placed on the dyke in De Haan. The bench designs borrow their basic form from normal park or garden benches seen everywhere, but are altered in various degrees to make the act of sitting on them a conscious physical endeavour. Out of investigating architecture, communication, and social behaviour in the urban space, the series was born under the common title ‘Modified Social Benches’.
With their modification, the spaces they inhabit become active rather than places of rest and solitude; they foster exchange between the users and the passers-by, thus lending the work a social quality. Due to their alteration, the benches end up somewhere between a dysfunctional object and a functional piece of furniture and thus point out the contradiction between artwork and functional object.