Oliver Beer

Oliver Beer, installation view: Oma’s Music, 2020 © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London. Photo: Eva Herzog

Oliver Beer, installation view: Oma’s Music, 2020 © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London. Photo: Eva Herzog

A multidisciplinary sculptor with a background in music, Oliver Beer has a particular interest in the relationship between sound and space, and especially between the voice and architecture. He has used vocal performances to awaken the natural harmonics inside buildings, from the Sydney Opera House to a hammam in Istanbul, and asked pairs of singers to explore the resonant frequencies of each other’s faces. Beer also orchestrates ensembles of vessels – hollow objects possessing an opening – producing tuneful but visually discordant displays. ‘You cannot make a container without making a note,’ Beer explains. ‘If you look at objects from an acoustic perspective, they can start to reveal things about themselves that we wouldn’t have realised had we been observing them purely visually.’

 

Oliver Beer (born 1985, Kent) lives and works in London and Paris, France. Beer studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music, London; The Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford; and the Sorbonne, Paris, France.

Oliver Beer, Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me) I (still), 2018. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney and the Sydney Opera House with generous assistance from the British Council © the artist. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London; and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Like a seashell or a wine glass, every hollow object has a note to sing based on its form and volume; if you whisper different frequencies into it, you can find and stimulate a note that has been ricocheting around inside there since the day it was made.

– Oliver Beer

Oliver Beer, Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me) II (still), 2018. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney and the Sydney Opera House with generous assistance from the British Council © the artist. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London; and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne





Oliver Beer, installation view: Household Gods, 2019 © the artist. Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London. Photo: Charles Duprat