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Hans op de beeck
The Girl
Experimental film | hdv | color | 16'0'' | Belgium | 2017
"The Girl" is a slow, suggestive, perception-oriented animated film 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 landfill, 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 unspecified reason, she must at one time have left her parental home, which is presented to us at the beginning of the film, 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 bear necessities in order to survive. Nighttime, breaking dawn, wind, rain, fog, cold and warming fire are present throughout the film. 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 film we understand that she is resting on a raft in the lake, floating, passive, as a metaphor for surrender. An original soundtrack for the film was composed by Tom Pintens, on a text by the artist.
Hans Op de Beeck produces large installations, sculptures, films, drawings, paintings, photographs and texts. His work is a reflection 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 fiction that delivers a moment of wonder and silence. Over the past twenty years Op de Beeck realized numerous monumental ‘sensorial’ installations, in which he evoked what he describes as ‘visual fictions’: tactile deserted spaces as an empty set for the viewer to walk through or sit down in, sculpted havens for introspection. In many of his films though, in contrast with those depopulated spaces, he prominently depicts anonymous characters. Hans Op de Beeck was born in Turnhout in 1969. He lives and works in Brussels and Gooik, Belgium. Op de Beeck has shown his work extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He 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, B (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, DE (2014), Screen Space, Melbourne, AU (2015); Château de Chimay, Chimay BE (2015); Espace 104, Paris, FR (2016); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, DE (2017); Fondazione Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, IT (2017); ._... Op de Beeck participated in numerous group shows at institutions such as The Reina Sofia, Madrid, ES; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ, US; the Towada Art Center, Towada, JP; ZKM, Karlsruhe, DE; MACRO, Rome, IT; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, GB; PS1, New York, NY, US; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Köln, DE; Hangar Bicocca, Milano, IT; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, JP; 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, US; The Drawing Center, New York, NY, US; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AT; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, CN; MAMBA, Buenos Aires, AR; Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE; Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, IT; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, DE; Kunstraum Dornbirn, Dornbirn, AU; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE; Den Frie Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, DK; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, BE; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, DE; … His work was invited for the Venice Biennale, Venice, IT; the Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, CN; the Aichi Triennale, Aichi, JP; the Singapore Biennale, Singapore, SG; Art Summer University, Tate Modern, London, GB; the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, IN, Art Basel Miami Beach, and many other art events.