Oliver Beer

The superlative gallery space that constitutes the Thaddeus Ropac gallery is well worth the trek; situated just on the outskirts of Paris and the Pantin area. It was not just a clever ploy to acquire and construct a unique space in this area, thereby accommodating huge art installations, but once there, you are incited to take full advantage of the space, and to spend a significant amount of time on the premises. Its industrial and red brick exterior seems to draw inspiration from a “London” feel. We wont talk about the illustrious names that have been shown here already like Kiefer and Beuys, nor the amazing Gilbert and George exhibition that was recently shown. We would like to focus on the young artist Oliver Beer whose show ran concurrently with G & G.

His work, is a culmination derived from a visual AND musical heritage, and explores the boundaries and the convergence of the fragile intersection between man’s strength and powerlessness; illustrating the very complexity of our human existence. Physical “matter” such as the body, yours, is set against sound and within an architectural framework, which is used to express our supposed control over our environment and ourselves. However, an uncomfortable feeling of entrapment accompanies their usage. The Ropac gallery revealed Beers virtuosity with his recent exhibition; guns depicted on the wall and railway tracks leading to nowhere on the floor, continue the theme of malaise that is so particular to his work. The video projection of Snow White which was accompanied by the song, “some day my prince will come”, uses the version from the 40’s to the present day and combines a visual compilation of animated drawings by children on the subject which inevitably forge a notion of “saturation”; a sort of visual “cacophony” as a result.

Alongside this, was the “Diabolus in Musica”, where, within confined walls, only 2 viewers were permitted to penetrate a tight labyrinth and be exposed to resonate base notes that had previously been banned during the middle ages because of their “incitation” to diabolical sentiment. We retain the word resonance to describe Beers work, who in the wake of an uncertain forecast for mankind, explores with brio, this very uncertainty of the human condition which is juxtaposed with and within the confines of his external world. Check out his site for his next exhibition.