Hans Op de Beeck: Staging Silence

6 December 2010 - 27 March 2011

Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, US

The work of Hans Op de Beeck (Belgian, b. Turnhout, 1969) encompasses sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, photography, video animated film, and short story writing. In each chilly setting of Staging Silence, 2009, initial perceptions of the scene are disrupted by lighting effects and the intrusion of human hands that tinker with elements of the handmade scenery, which quickly transforms from the real to the surreal.

Op de Beeck’s dreamlike black-and-white scenes evoke vintage film, taking on the playfulness of slapstick and the suspense of film noir. Drawn from his memories of archetypal spaces, the images are, according to the artist, “both ridiculous and serious, like the eclectic mix of pictures in people’s minds.” As each scenario unfolds, accompanied by Serge Lacroix’s score, the artist’s magical world induces a sense of wonder and poetry.