The monumental sculptural installation features an adolescent couple sitting atop a headland on the edge of the precipice. The girl’s open gaze lingers in the distance, as if preoccupied with something beyond the setting, while the boy’s attention is entirely focused on her. It is a bittersweet image of young love’s vagaries laced with innocence and designed to appeal to the viewer’s sentiment. The story of childhood, of growing up, is represented as a form of sublime enchantment punctuated by the overwhelming perception of a world not yet lived to which we are enticed to return. It also highlights Op de Beeck’s recurring concern with change, where different stages of our lives are punctuated with the weight of waiting before transitioning into a new phase – here, the advent of first love signals the passage into adulthood and the loss of innocence.
Photos: Christian Redtenbacher