Hans Op de Beeck: The Quiet Parade
STT, 31 August 2022
Amos Rex presents the first solo show of the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck in Finland. The Quiet Parade fills Amos Rex’s exhibition space with a complete installation, an enigmatic nocturnal landscape as it were, filled with mystical figures and dreamy moments that visitors can discover. This mainly grey landscape, as if petrified or covered by ash, leads us to slow down and reflect inward, lets us dissolve into a timeless, uncanny parallel world.
Hans Op de Beeck: The Quiet Parade is on view September 21, 2022 – February 26, 2023.
Amos Rex invites media representatives to a press viewing on Tuesday, September 20, at 11 am – 1 pm. Hans Op de Beeck will be present.
Hans Op de Beeck’s exhibition at Amos Rex is a Gesamtkunstwerk that includes 24 sculptures from 2015–2022, a soundscape composed for the exhibition as well as the video artwork Staging Silence (3) (2019). In the exhibition, visitors walk through a path in a mysterious monochromatic park and meet sculptures that portray fictitious places, characters, and objects – recognizable moments that we may identify with; a child sleeping wrapped under a blanket on a sofa, an oversized birthday cake, a man rowing his boat, a teenage couple holding hands on the edge of a cliff... These scenes are starting points of stories that visitors get to continue in their imagination. Prior knowledge or explanation is not required as everyone can approach the works through their own experience.
“I feel the need to create fictitious environments, characters, situations that breath a form of alienation and latent derailment yet offer a sense of consolation and reflective calm to the viewer as well, often sharing the idea that we all have our obstacles to conquer, that we’re not alone in this absurd human condition. My immersive installations, films, plays contain many references to the tragicomic side of life. (…) I always love to stage a certain tranquillity in a work of art, that helps to enter the depicted, and departing from there any content can be delivered, be it soothing or cruel, easily acceptable and beautiful, or rough, dark and rather hard to digest,”says Hans Op de Beeck.
Op de Beeck invites us to let go and surrender to the unknown, guided by the immersive elements of the exhibition. His sculptures are linked to the classical sculpture tradition but are interpretations rather than depictions of reality. By showing us a world in one tone, for example, the artist tries to grasp the essence of a character, an environment, an atmosphere rather than simulating the world as we know it.
Ambient sounds, whispering voices, children in the distance
The soundscape created for this immersive, dreamy grey world is a collage where ambient, mysterious sounds, whispering voices, children in the distance, subtle echoes, small meditative music patterns are interwoven in several layers to form a vast sound landscape.
In the video work Staging Silence (3), Op de Beeck plays with the power of visual illusion as the artwork moves between fiction and reality. Landscapes and interiors are constantly transformed before the viewer's eyes, as two pairs of hands reach in from the edges of the image, intervening with the narrative in a surreal manner.
A map of the exhibition and information on the artworks is provided in a gallery guide available for all visitors.
The museum's workshop space, Studio Rex, is open for all visitors to stop and reflect on their experience in the exhibition as well as to investigate how losing control over the use of colours can generate new creative possibilities.
In November on Saturday mornings, visitors are invited to silent tours in the exhibition that take place before the museum opens.
The exhibition is curated by Terhi Tuomi, Curator at Amos Rex.
The exhibition has been supported by the Delegation of Flanders in the Nordic Countries and the Embassy of Belgium.
Hans Op de Beeck (b. 1969)
Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Brussels. His works have been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world. The Quiet Parade is his first solo-show in Finland. His art depicts the tragicomic ups and downs of life, its transience, and its beauty. His extensive body of work includes large scale immersive installations as well as sculptures, video works, animated films, paintings, drawings, photographs, texts (plays), opera and theatre work. Key themes of his artistic practice are the ambiguous human condition, our conflicted dealing with time, space and each other, and the concept of the memento mori (‘remember you have to die’).