Oliv­er Beer


Oliv­er Beer (British, born 1985) cre­ates sculp­tures, instal­la­tions, videos, and immer­sive live per­for­mances that reveal the hid­den prop­er­ties and musi­cal­i­ty of objects, bod­ies, and archi­tec­tur­al sites. His social and famil­ial rela­tion­ships often become the blue­print for mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary works that engage with inti­mate and uni­ver­sal con­cerns, such as the trans­mis­sion of musi­cal mem­o­ries and the per­son­al and cul­tur­al mean­ings invest­ed in the objects we pos­sess. For his Res­o­nance Project (2007‒), vocal per­for­mances stim­u­late the nat­ur­al har­mon­ics of built struc­tures, cre­at­ing a dis­arm­ing­ly vis­cer­al rela­tion­ship between the audi­ence and inte­ri­or space. Beer’s sculp­tur­al prac­tice dis­sects the mate­r­i­al world and the traces we leave on it by slic­ing and reassem­bling com­mon objects to cre­ate new mean­ings and forms.

The artist’s work has been the sub­ject of many solo and group exhi­bi­tions, notably at Met Breuer, Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art and MoMA PS1, New York; Lon­don Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, Lon­don; Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, Opéra Gar­nier, Fon­da­tion Louis Vuit­ton, Palais de Tokyo and Château of Ver­sailles, Paris; the Musée d’Art Con­tem­po­rain, Lyon; Queens­land Gallery of Mod­ern Art, Aus­tralia; Ikon Gallery, Birm­ing­ham; WIELS, Brus­sels and the Syd­ney, Istan­bul and Venice bien­nales. Beer was part of the British Art Show 9 and has also held res­i­den­cies at the Palais de Tokyo, the Water­mill Cen­tre, Syd­ney Opera House and the Fon­da­tion Her­mès. He stud­ied musi­cal com­po­si­tion at the Acad­e­my of Con­tem­po­rary Music, Lon­don; visu­al art at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford; and the­o­ry of cin­e­ma at the Sor­bonne, Paris.

Oliv­er Beer works at the inter­sec­tion of archi­tec­ture, sound and image, explor­ing the con­nec­tions between space, objects and acoustics. Informed by his train­ing in fine art, musi­cal com­po­si­tion and film the­o­ry, his projects – often tak­ing the form of large-scale instal­la­tions, live per­for­mances, sculp­ture and video – are research based and use orig­i­nal tech­niques to test and manip­u­late the expe­ri­ence of sound. Inter­est­ed in the res­o­nant fre­quen­cies of objects and archi­tec­ture he devis­es work that stim­u­lates the unique voice of emp­ty space. His ongo­ing Res­o­nance Project’ (2007-) has trans­formed the Cen­tre­Pom­pi­dou, MoMA PS1, and an Ottoman ham­mam, dur­ing Istan­bul Bien­nale (2015), into archi­tec­tur­al instru­ments’ pro­duc­ing audi­ble com­po­si­tions born from their inher­ent notes. Per­formed by trained singers, often along­side two dimen­sion­al sculp­tures’, instal­la­tions and films, which splice through recog­nis­able objects and nar­ra­tives, Beer encour­ages a re-assess­ment of sen­so­ry per­cep­tion. As he has said of his sculp­tures, These…are a way of hear­ing with our eyes – or see­ing with our ears.’



In The Finan­cial Times, 24 March 2018: Syd­ney har­bours a trea­sury of art’

[Excerpt] The 21st Syd­ney Bien­nale […] brings togeth­er 70 artists from 35 coun­tries in […]

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Art that’s on song

Oliv­er Beer non­cha­lant­ly leans into the cor­ner of the art gallery and sings. Adjusting […]

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Oliv­er Beer | His­to­ry: A micro­cos­mic perspective

His­to­ryA micro­cos­mic per­spec­tive May 4th – Decem­ber 7th, 20242021 espa­cio de arteBoni­fa­cio, Cor­si­ca, France World […]

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