Hans Op de Beeck: Location (6)

30 May 2008 - 20 June 2008

Westergasfabriek - Holland Festival, Amsterdam, NL

On 31 May 2008, the new installation “Location (6)” by Hans Op de Beeck will premiere as part of the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck has now created “Location (6)” (2008) – a monumental installation intended for the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. The Westergasfabriek is a former gas works that has been turned into a thriving multifunctional cultural center. This installation-art creation draws on Op de Beeck’s interest in manmade vistas, as well as his fascination with melancholic barren spaces devoid of human life.

His new work is a worthy successor to the sculptural installation “Location (5)” (2004). This particular installation was earlier on display in the Municipal Museum in The Hague and the Art Unlimited exhibition in Basel, Switzerland and has now been given a permanent home at the Towada Art Center in Japan. “Location (5)” is a pitch-black “mockup” of a motorway fast-food restaurant looking out on a deserted motorway (highway) in the dead of night.

The new installation “Location (6)” is based on a similar principle: the viewer is inside a building and is looking out at the wider world – in this case, a vast expanse of land stretching out as far as the eye can see. The exterior space has once again been created in the form of a monumental landscape sculpture with an incrementally manipulated perspective (perspectival trompe-l'œil). Visually speaking, however, “Location (6)” is almost the opposite of its predecessor. Through a hallway, the spectator reaches an observatory with a panoramic window offering a view of an imaginary desolate snowy landscape. Everything basks in white light and is shrouded in a fog. The whole place has an ephemeral, almost immaterial feel about it that invites viewer to gaze into the near-nothingness.