Hans Op de Beeck: Metropolitan Scenes

7 December 2013 - 30 March 2014

MMKA, Arnhem, NL

From 7 December 2013 through 30 March 2014 the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem (which will become the Museum Arnhem on 1 January) will present Metropolitan scenes, an exhibition of works by the multi-dimensional artist Hans Op de Beeck. With his room-sized video installations Op de Beeck reflects on the tragicomic absurdity and melancholy inherent in modern human existence.

What do we all do to create an identity for ourselves and make ourselves comfortable with it? How do we maintain our place in a world that becomes ever more difficult to understand and in which people seem exchangeable?
In three films Hans Op de Beeck (Turnhout, 1969) shows how we fail to bring things under control, how inadequate are our attempts to shape the world and therefore how we often find ourselves stranded in new, desolate and impersonal no-man’s lands. The films look at our surroundings as stage sets (Staging Silence 2, 2013), at our growing dependence on technology (Extensions, 2009) and at the problematic relationship between the individual in all his or her vulnerability and the great masses that carry us or crush us (Dance, 2013). The film Dance is having its international première in the Arnhem Museum.

Metropolitan scenes can be considered a contemporary pendant to the exhibition The Melancholy Metropolis. Cityscapes between magic and realism 1925-1950, which is on view in the museum through 23 February 2014. Together these exhibitions form a diptych in which the melancholy aspects of modern urban life find poetic expression.