Hans Op de Beeck, Galerie Krinzinger
Sabine B. Vogel | Art Forum, 1 March 2006
The party is over. Atop the oversize Table (1), 2006, some extra-large leftovers and crumpled napkins remain. Having arrived too late (the guests and even the colors in this remarkably white room seem to have disappeared), we can only guess at the cause of the celebration. Pencil drawings of ridiculous people sporting party hats (Party Animal (1)-(6), 2006) hang in front of the tables, offering potential clues to the preceding events.
Alone this installation is spooky enough, but up-and-coming Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck piles on the menace. In the accompanying All together now ..., 2005, a video whose speed and sound have been reduced, a camera slowly pans over a large group of people seated at an elongated table. Every two minutes another party—from a wedding, funeral, or anniversary—replaces the one before it, the guests engaging in interactions relevant to their respective occasions, flirting and fighting, ignoring and hitting one another. Op de Beeck organizes these social affairs with an obsessive attention to detail; but while rich in allusion, these scenes never commit themselves to any one story. Op de Beeck's art resembles a book of fairy tales crossed with grim reality.