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Hans Op de Beeck’s STAGING SILENCE (2) opened last Friday at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. His new video piece is a simpler work that was crafted in between his various on going projects. Hans Op de Beeck works in sculpture, installation, video, photography, animation, drawing, and some writing. At the opening reception on Thursday night (2/6), he described his work as “visual fictions,” instead of recreations he creates these parallel realities that invites the viewer to have a experience.  He continues to shift around between mediums to create work that centers on the same goal of creating an environment of quiet reflection. He talked about how the way in which we stage our environment is a means of making us feel safe. We stage all of our rooms a certain way, even the way we dress and carry ourselves is partly staged depending on where we are and who we are with.


STAGING SILENCE (2) is a series of landscapes that are assembled on screen by shifting light, and sculpting objects. The viewer is given a chance to really see behind the curtain and experience the staging of these environments. What begins as an empty table with a shallow pool in it quickly becomes a beautiful cityscape view from an apartment. Hands of the sculptors begin placing water bottles, a large windowpane, and small hand crafted objects like couches and stairs.  As the video shifts scenery and lighting it feels almost like a highlight reel of his past works. Hans Op de Beeck uses similar imagery and landscapes of his past pieces, but with this video he allows you to watch the creation of these sets. You can see glimpses of the larger works he created on display here, from his attraction to the small concrete private gardens in his home in Belgium to the large winter panoramic landscape he created in LOCATION (6) (pictured below).

So much of his focus has been on actually exposing these crafted fictions, trying to get a glimpse behind the scenes of our everyday life.  Hans is very interested in the relationship between us and our environment, how we perceive and interact with it and each other, and how our surroundings encourage you to behave and think a certain way. His work has also been a reaction to his teachers who tried to get him to simplify his work and showed him monochromic painting, which didn’t interest him. He felt like it was becoming more about the construct and the medium itself instead of the content. His work tries to highlight what he believes to be the absurdity of focusing on the construction in art and the reality around us.

MIT List Visual Art Center
20 Ames Street, Bldg. E15
Atrium level
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

February 7 – April 6, 2014

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