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Galerie Ron Mandos proudly presents: Hans Op de Beeck - The Girl

HANS OP DE BEECK (BE, 1969) produces large installations, sculptures, lms, drawings, paintings, photographs and texts. His work is a re ection on our complex society and the universal questions of meaning and mortality that resonate within it. He regards man as a being who stages the world around him in a tragi-comic way. Above all, Op de Beeck is keen to stimulate the viewers’ senses, and invite them to really experience the image. He seeks to create a form of visual ction that delivers a moment of wonder, silence and introspection.

ON SHOW The Girl, Animation lm, 16’00”, Full HD, colour, sound, Edition of 10 + 2 AP, 2017 The Girl is a slow, suggestive, perception-oriented animated lm in which the viewer is transported to the strange world of a silent, 14-year-old girl. The dreamy landscape images show a dark forest, a vast land ll, a gas station, a highway landscape, a meadow, a factory site and a mysterious lake. Amidst all this stands an old caravan. The scene seems to suggest that the protagonist leads a lonely life on these premises. For a further unspeci ed reason, she must at one time have left her parental home, which is presented to us at the beginning of the lm, both in perfect condition, and later in a neglected, abandoned state. In a variety of different landscapes, we see the girl perform small acts such as gather usable waste or pick herbs. We often get to see her cargo bike; the vehicle she uses to gather the bare necessities in order to survive. Nighttime, breaking dawn, wind, rain, fog, cold and warming re are present throughout the lm. Occasionally, we get to see the girl – resting serenely – from up close, as if we were right beside her, and could feel her breath. At the end of the lm we understand that she is resting on a raft in the lake, oating, passive, as a metaphor for surrender. An original soundtrack for the lm was composed by Tom Pintens, on a text by the artist.

Op de Beeck was born in Turnhout in 1969. He lives and works in Brussels and Gooik, Belgium. He has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world. The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (Wolfsburg), GEM Museum of Contemporary Art (The Hague), MUHKA Museum of Contemporary Art (Antwerp), Kunstverein Hannover, Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa) and Sammlung Goetz (Munich). His work has been invited for the Venice Biennale, the Shanghai Biennale, the Aichi Triennale, the Singapore Biennale, Tate Modern, London; amongst many others.

ABOUT THE FAIR Since 2003, LOOP Fair has been the first in its field exclusively dedicated to the discovery, promotion and acquisition of contemporary video art works. LOOP Fair strives to re-examine traditional art fair models and methods of presentation by taking into account both the changing attitudes of viewing and interacting with art, and the particularities of moving image practices. LOOPoffers a unique viewing experience by presenting each film project in a room of a hotel, thus creating a setting that both focuses on the artists’ work and facilitates the particular attention required by this medium. LOOP brings together a strong sense of community between the concomitant fields of contemporary art and cinema, while establishing an occasion to promote and discuss artists’ video and film amidst a specialized audience.

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ABOUT Hans Op de Beeck

Hans Op de Beeck was born in 1969 in Turnhout, BE
He lives and works in Brussels, BE

Visual artist Hans Op de Beeck lives and works in Brussels, where he has developed his career through international exhibitions over the past twenty years. His work consists of sculptures, installations, video work, photography, animated films, drawings, paintings and writing (short stories). It is his quest for the most effective way of presenting the concrete contents of each work that determines the medium that the artist ultimately selects. The scale can vary from the size of a small watercolour to a large, three-dimensional installation of 600m2.

The artist not only uses a very wide variety of media, but also deliberately employs a diversity of aesthetic forms, ranging from an economical, minimalist visual language to overloaded, exaggerated designs, always with the aim of articulating the content of the work as precisely as possible.

Thematically, the work concentrates on our laborious and problematic relationship with time, space and each other. Op de Beeck shows the viewer non-existent, but identifiable places, moments and characters that appear to have been taken from contemporary everyday life, aiming thereby to capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence. Key themes are the disappearance of distances, the disembodiment of the individual and the abstraction of time that have resulted from globalisation and the changes to our living environment that developments in media, automation and technology have brought about.

Hans Op de Beeck sometimes calls his works “proposals”; they are irrefutably fictional, constructed and staged, leaving it up to the viewer whether to take the work seriously, as a sort of parallel reality, or immediately to put it into perspective, as no more than a visual construct. His work is nourished by a keen interest in social and cultural reflection. The artist also questions the difficult relationship between reality and representation, between what we see and what we want to believe, between what is and what we create for ourselves in order to make it easier to deal with our own insignificance and lack of identity. The visual output of that investigation often produces slumbering, insidious, melancholy and astonishing images.

Multi-disciplinary artist Hans Op de Beeck creates interworlds. Suspended between past and future, fiction and reality, his works sound out a mirage-like contemporary universe and a sensory vertigo where the familiar rubs shoulders with the strange. From installation to sculpture, from video to animated film, from short stories to painting and drawing, from photography to sound material, the media he employs seem to converge on the definition of a topos: a mental theatre that projects the viewer into a reflexive social and cultural experience, the intimate thinking of the human condition. —Eva Prouteau

Op de Beeck has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He has had substantial institutional solo shows at the GEM Museum of Contemporary Art of The Hague, The Hague, NL (2004); MUHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, BE (2006); Centraal Museum, Utrecht, NL (2007); the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, US (2010); Kunstmuseum Thun, CH (2010); Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Burgos, ES (2010); Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, IRL (2012); Kunstverein Hannover, D (2012); Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, USA (2013); the Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL, USA (2013); FRAC Paca, Marseille, F (2013); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Boston MA, US (2014); MOCA Cleveland, OH, US (2014); Sammlung Goetz, Munich, D (2014); Screen Space, Melbourne, AU (2015); Espace 104, Paris, FR (2016); Art Unlimited, Basel, CH (2016); Kunstraum Dornbirn, Dornbirn, AU (2017); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE (2017); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, DE (2017); Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, IT (2017); His work is included in museum collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Royal Museum for Modern and Fine Arts, Brussels; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem; the ING Art Collection, Amsterdam; the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection.

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