In viewing Jeppe Hein’s “PLEASE…,” we were left wanting to know more. The chat label describes how the piece considers “how public opinion about acceptable and non-acceptable behavior changes over time, and depends on context’ (Hein, 2008). We would’ve appreciated further context and information: has this piece changed over time? Across context? A simple search of the artwork reveals that it has been in exhibitions across the world, so has the piece changed to adhere to the social norms of where it is exhibited?
To redesign the display to include this, we suggest a simple QR code with further information be added. The code could lead to the history of the piece. It could also lead to an interactive activity: what else could or should be added to the piece as acceptable or non-acceptable behavior? Is there anything that isn’t crossed out that visitors to the museum think should be?
After scanning the QR code, viewers will be taken to a page where they can get an overview of the artwork, as well as learn more about the artist and other related works. This helps the viewer in getting a better understanding and sense of the artist’s intentions. It is interesting to note that the artist (on his website) mentioned that this piece was a critique on museum guidelines/behaviors, whereas this significant detail seems to have been omitted through the curatorial process at the MFA. This makes us wonder the extent to which an artist’s intentions may be diluted and skewed through curation. In addition, this particular artwork relies heavily on “public opinion” and can even be thought of as a participatory artwork. However, it seems difficult to actually engage with it and visitors are instead passively viewing it. The “audience” section of the prototype aims to create more active engagement by encouraging them to comment and think more deeply about the work.