Oliv­er Beer
Impos­si­ble Composition

24th March – 21st April 2018
Anna Schwartz Gallery


Impos­si­ble Com­po­si­tion’ gath­ers a new body of work reflect­ing Beer’s expe­ri­ence as artist in res­i­dence at the Syd­ney Opera House for the 21st Bien­nale of Syd­ney. These pieces draw on the design prin­ci­ples of its archi­tect, Jørn Utzon, who saw the space like a vio­lin’. In turn, Beer sought to tune’ the build­ing, allow­ing Utzon’s labyrinthine struc­ture to be played as an instrument.

The result is Impos­si­ble Com­po­si­tion, a major sound piece arranged for four Aus­tralian singers per­form­ing in the tips of the Syd­ney Opera House roof. The piece plays in an arrange­ment cor­re­lat­ing with the rel­a­tive height of each sail. Each singer was asked to choose their ear­li­est musi­cal mem­o­ry, which Beer then re-orches­trat­ed. These include a Mon­go­lian folk song, a chant by Hilde­gard, a Bel­gian lul­la­by and a Chris­t­ian hymn. The piece jux­ta­pos­es the phys­i­cal and son­ic prop­er­ties of the build­ing with the per­son­al his­to­ries of the musi­cians. Impos­si­ble Com­po­si­tion is the only trace of a per­for­mance com­mis­sioned by the Bien­nale of Syd­ney at the Syd­ney Opera House.

A new series of Beer’s two-dimen­sion­al sculp­tures made from frac­tured cross-sec­tions of vio­lins and cel­los sur­rounds the sound instal­la­tion. These form a series of abstract por­traits, includ­ing the archi­tect Jørn Utzon along­side the indi­vid­ual singers with whom Beer worked close­ly dur­ing his res­i­den­cy. Each of the Recom­po­si­tion works has a par­tic­u­lar char­ac­ter, which reflects Beer’s inter­est in phys­i­cal cubism’, using the form of the vio­lin to rep­re­sent each of the performer’s bod­ies. The expe­ri­ence of these lyri­cal por­traits with the evoca­tive sound instal­la­tion fills the gallery, cre­at­ing an envi­ron­ment that encour­ages us to, as Beer describes, hear with our eyes – or see with our ears.’

Oliv­er Beer (b.1985, lives and works in Lon­don and Paris) stud­ied music before attend­ing the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford. Beer’s work has been the sub­ject of many solo and group exhi­bi­tions, notably at MoMA PS1, New York; Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, Fon­da­tion Louis Vuit­ton, Palais de Tokyo and Château of Ver­sailles, Paris; the Musée d’Art Con­tem­po­rain, Lyon; WIELS, Brus­sels and the Istan­bul Bien­nale. His work is in major pub­lic and pri­vate col­lec­tions around the world, includ­ing: Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, Paris; MONA Muse­um of Old and New Art, Hobart; Louis Vuit­ton Fon­da­tion, Paris; and Zablu­dow­icz Col­lec­tion, London.

Curat­ed by Anaïs Lel­louche



RELAT­ED PROJECTS:

The 21st Bien­nale of Syd­ney presents Beer’s new film Com­po­si­tion for Mouths at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and reg­u­lar per­for­mances of the Res­o­nance Project at the Syd­ney Opera House, from 16 March – 11 June 2018.

Oliv­er Beer’s Alice Falling will pre­mière in Aus­tralia in the Won­der­land’ exhi­bi­tion at ACMI from 5 April – 7 Octo­ber 2018.

Images

Oliv­er Beer

Impos­si­ble Composition, 2018
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Oliv­er Beer

Archi­tect, 2018
4/4 size Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
Closed: 622316 cm; Open: 62468 cm

Oliv­er Beer

Recom­po­si­tion (Jen­ny), 2018
Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
67472 cm

Oliv­er Beer

Recom­po­si­tion (Clive), 2018
Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
67472 cm

Oliv­er Beer

Recom­po­si­tion (Sonya), 2018
Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
67472 cm

Oliv­er Beer

Recom­po­si­tion (Sopra­no and Alto), 2018
Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
1001333 cm

Oliv­er Beer

Recom­po­si­tion (Jørn), 2018
Vio­lin, sec­tioned and set in resin, gesso
40301 cm