Hans Op de Beeck (b. 1969 in Turnhout, Belgium, lives and works in Brussels) seduces us into melancholic worlds of images between dream and reality. These are stages of imagination and contemplation; spatial pictorial situations of silence and stillness, timelessness and seclusion. In part, they are walkable in reality, and in part experienceable in a filmic or pictorial medium. Op de Beeck is the director, choreographer, curator, stage designer, painter, and sculptor, all in one person. The artist has personally choreographed the exhibition at the Kunsthalle Krems and also created special sculptural installations for the event. The show becomes a passage, a journey. One comes across monochrome environments, cast in gray: a sleeping girl on a raft drifting in the water; children intimately immersed in their activities — playing marbles, shooting arrows from a bow — and a pair of lovers sitting together on a rock. The Cliff, which is the title of both the piece and the exhibition, is a romantic naturescape in the form of a life-sized sculptural installation. Art and everyday life blur into one another; real-looking persons and objects mutate into sculptures in their monochromy. Life seems halted, frozen like in Pompeiian cement. For the artist, this is not at all about a hyperrealist imitation of reality but about an own interpretation in a process-based creative manifestation of the sculptural work. At night, Op de Beeck, painter and draftsman, delves into the world of watercolors and ink painting, whose wet washes steep the precise matter-of-factness into an atmosphere of painterly lyricism. Sometimes the sheets function as frames for film projects — like for his nocturnal animation film Night Time, which is presented in the exhibition together with a selection of other films. Among them, there also is Staging Silence (2), in which bodiless hands appear on film creating imaginative settings on a stage using everyday objects like plastic bottles or lumps of sugar. A surreal journey of the wondrously melancholic world of Hans Op de Beeck.

Curator: Florian Steininger


Hans Op de Beeck: The Cliff
Kunsthalle Krems


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