The Silent Castle

12 February 2017 - 30 April 2017

Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE

The Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck works in almost all artistic media. Whether in his sculptures and spatial installations, in his paintings, the large-scale watercolors and drawings or in animations and videos: he uses the staging strategies of theater, film and architecture and creates atmospherically dense, dreamlike scenarios that are always familiar and yet alien.
In dialogue with the rooms of Museum Morsbroich, Hans Op de Beeck staged a selection of his works of the last twelve years, like a series of open stages that the visitor could enter - sometimes with his feet, always with his thoughts. The artist abducted them into a world in which reality and fiction overlap, in which time seems to stand still: suggestive scenarios reminiscent of film stills. Plaster-shaped figurines seemed to have risen from the pedestal, they met us as a matter of course in the former living quarters of the castle and seemed at the same time frozen in moments of silence. Silently, they accompanied the visitor through the castle rooms, where specially laid carpets cushioned the steps. Where colours reduced to grey, black and white created an atmosphere of concentration.
Op de Beeck creates places of introspection, he opens fields of association in which the viewer can enter with his own experiences, memories and interpretations. He sovereignly uses stage tricks and lighting effects, skillfully creating suspense. The piano is mute (Silent Piano, 2015), the yachtsmen are resting in front of the supermarket (Entrance, 2005/06), water lilies cover the depths of the eerie black pond water (Pond, 2016). The viewer senses that at any moment someone appears, something could happen. But if something happens, then especially in his head.