Hans Op de Beeck: Sea of Tranquillity
23 September 2011 - 1 January 2012
Centro de Arte, Burgos, ES
Visiting the exhibition “Sea of Tranquillity” is like being in a dream. This installation conceived by visual artist Hans Op de Beeck (Turnhout, Belgium, 1969) evokes, at first the melancholic and misty atmosphere of a museum which has not yet been opened or which is being dismantled: silence and a mysterious mood overcome the viewer, who approaches a room recalling the half-light of old-fashioned museums and inviting the visitors an amazing tour of around watercolours, models, sculptures and showcases filled with smaller pieces.
The articulating work of the installation is a short, from which the exhibition takes its title, combining shot images of actors and others three dimensional digitally generated. The short takes the viewer into a night tour on board of an intriguing cruise, Op de Beeck, who witnessed, at the French harbour of saint Nazaire, the construction of the Queen Mary 2, the biggest ocean liner at the time, uses this vast ship as a sharp metaphor of western principles such as leisure and luxurious consumption.
Reflection, a recurrent theme in this Belgian artist, on our complicated and troublesome relation with time, space and other humans is materialised through different aesthetic solutions, going stretching from an economic and minimalist visual language to overcharged, exaggerated designs, always responding to the objective of articulating the contents with as accurately as possible. Op de Beeck presents inexistent but identifiable places, moments and characters that seem to have been taken from everyday life so as to capture the tragicomic and absurd qualities of our postmodern existence through topics such as the absence of distances, the disincorporation of the being and the abstraction of time, consequences of a globalised world as well as the changes in our environment brought by the media, automation and technology.