Oliver Beer

    October 27, 2017 - October 27, 2017
    Mark Cousins Friday Lectures The Face
    5.00 – 6.00 AA
    34-36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3E

    The Architectural Association   

    Artists’ Talks Series Organised by Parveen Adams

    Oliver Beer has developed a technique using classically trained singers to transform a building into a musical instrument. He composes complex polyphonic music for these newly audible ‘architectural instruments’.

    He has shown world wide: London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Istanbul, Rome…Currently Versailles with commission for the architecture of the Sydney Opera House 2018.

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  • Voyage d'hiver
    October 22, 2017 - January 7, 2018
    Chateau de Versailles
    Place d'Armes
    Versailles, France
    Voyage d'hiver” will reveal the groves in the Gardens in a new light, revisited in multiple ways by contemporary artists, from the glory of autumn to the stunning freeze-over of winter.
    Four historic fountains, each representing a different season, legitimize the important theme of a changing world. During three months “Voyage d'hiver” accompanies those transformations, casting a meditative trail through the gardens which slowly slip into the cold and the frost.
    Metamorphosing a stroll into a personal experience, allowing visitors to perceive nature’s transformation, sixteen artists bring their vision, their sensibility and their poetry. From different countries, genres, and generations, firmly established or up-and-coming, they create together an oneiric trail through the paths and the grooves.
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  • Oliver Beer Book-signing
    June 30, 2017 - June 30, 2017
    Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
    37 Dover Street
    W1S 4NJ, London

    Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce participation in Mayfair Art Week.

    The Gallery will host a book signing with Oliver Beer in the Berkeley Gallery and live performances in the Gallery space. A conversation between the artist and Tim Marlow will take place at the Royal Academy. 

    Friday 30 June
    Open: 10 am - 8 pm
    Oliver Beer | Book signing and drinks with the artist | Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac: 6 - 8 pm

    Oliver Beer, Composition for London, Fully illustrated, 144 pages, text by Ben Eastham and interview by Martin Germann

    Saturday 1 July
    Open: 10 am - 6 pm
    Oliver Beer in conversation with Tim Marlow & other artists | Royal Academy: 12 pm
    Oliver Beer | The Resonance Project | Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac: 12 - 5.45 pm

    Sunday 2 July
    Open: 11 am - 5 pm

    Oliver Beer | The Resonance Project | Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac: 1 - 4.45 pm

    Performed live, visitors will be able to experience the culmination of Oliver Beer's site-specific experiments with his new Resonance Project performance, Composition for London, in which classically-trained singers are placed strategically around the grand staircase and sing specific notes at precise pitches. Working without the aid of speakers or electronic amplification the singers simulate the space's natural frequencies and tease out its intrinsic notes, unchanged since the building's construction in 1776.

    Oliver Beer trained in musical composition in London before studying Fine Art at the Ruskin, Oxford University and Theory of Cinema at the Sorbonne, Paris. His musical background is reflected in a distinct sensitivity to sound and in an interest in the overlap between sound, space and architecture, which he expresses through performance, film and sculpture.


    Mayfair Art Weekend is joined by the Royal Academy of Arts, over 60 art galleries, artists and auction houses to celebrate Mayfair as a vibrant hub of talent, creativity, craftsmanship and production.

    The weekend will offer a programme of free talks, walks and events providing the public with an insight into this unique art district and a chance to experience the unparalleled artistic knowledge, quality and diversity to be found within Mayfair's art community. 

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    March 15, 2017 - June 4, 2017
    Ikon Gallery
    1 Oozells Square
    Birmingham, B1 2HS

    British artist Oliver Beer returns to Ikon for the first time since 2011 to provide audiences with an opportunity to encounter his new and recent work within the context of a judicious survey.

    Oliver Beer interrogates at once the physical properties and emotional value of objects, with a paradoxical emphasis on emptiness and absence. The notion of “negative space” is key – whereby a balance is struck between occupied and unoccupied space – so the viewer is confronted with what is, literally, not there. A number of recent works have involved a selection of vessels – ceramic and otherwise – to create idiosyncratic musical instruments as installations. The empty space within each vessel has its own musical note at which it resonates, and so contributes to a symphony of natural frequencies, with microphones feeding back into looping sound systems.

    A new work, commissioned by Ikon, Reanimation (I Wanna Be Like You), 2017 is a “re-animation” of a scene from Walt Disney’s Jungle Book. 2,500 local school children, from early years until the age of 13, were invited to join in, drawing film stills in order of their age, so that the animation becomes increasingly “grown up”. Frame by frame the scribbles of infants progressively give way to the increasingly lucid drawings of children and then adolescents. Thus Oliver Beer touches on the inexorable passage of time – through a time-based medium – in order to encourage a consideration of what it is like to be human.

    More information: https://ikon-gallery.org/event/oliver-beer/

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    October 1, 2016 - October 2, 2016
    Pont des Arts
    75006 PARIS
    En continu de 19h à 7h
    La Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac est heureuse d’annoncer la participation d’Oliver Beer à la Nuit Blanche 2016. Le 1er octobre, l’artiste présentera une nouvelle installation sonore et lumineuse sur le Pont des Arts.
    Mixée en directe et diffusée en divers points du pont, une captation sonore du fleuve rendra audible une vie sous-marine insoupçonnée où cohabitent lents mouvements de fonds, échos d’embarcations motorisées et clapotis, entre autres sonorités non identifiées. En dialogue avec ces voix liquides, un halo de lumière fluorescente animera la Seine. Par ce dispositif inspiré des lumières vertes utilisées par les pêcheurs thaïlandais pour attirer poissons et calamars, l’artiste tentera de révéler la vie secrète du fleuve.
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  • Imprisoned, Jailbreak, Imprisoned, Jailbreak
    March 19, 2016 - April 30, 2016
    Tokyo, Japan

    Oliver Beer has been invited to participate in an artist-led group exhibition that explores the notion of "the frame". Whether it be linguistic, socio-political, perspectival, material, or of the boundary around something, "the frame" tends to form itself and is inseparable from human existence. Artists are capable of reconstructing this pre-existing "frame." It is the artist, who can eliminate, manipulate, transcend, and even transform its meaning. 


    More information

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  • Talk
    November 12, 2015 - November 12, 2015
    Tokyo Wonder Site Residency
    Tokyo, Japan

    Talk on November 12th, 3pm-5pm

    Oliver Beer (Artist), Jonathan Watkins (Director: IKON Gallery, Birmingham), Mami Kataoka (Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo)

    As recipient of the 2015 Daiwa Foundation Art Prize, Oliver Beer has been invited to participate in a talk about his work.

    Arts Kikukawa 1F, 2-14-7 Tatekawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

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  • Life, Death and Tennis / Deconstructing Sound
    November 7, 2015 - December 6, 2015
    Tokyo, Japan

    Oliver Beer is the recipient of the Daiwa Foundation Art Prize 2015. In this context, the artist was invited to show his work in Japan in two venues as well as to particpate in several talks.

    The exhibition at AOYAMA-MEGURO (7 - 28 Nov.) will provide a survey of Oliver Beer’s extensive practice, conceived through his exploration of vision and sound. It includes: Life, Death and Tennis (2015), his new film edited from the televised Wimbledon final; Silence is Golden (2013), glass spheres each of which contains a gold replica of one of the ossicles; This is a Churchwarden Pipe (2014), a bisected tobacco pipe. Head of the prize jury, Jonathan Watkins remarks: “Much of Oliver Beer’s work embodies absence.”

    The exhibition Deconstructing Sound at ASAKUSA (8 Nov. - 6 Dec.) is the first exhibition dedicated to a specific field of Beer's work: videos, and illustrates how the artist analyses the question of sound in this medium.

    For more information on the AOYAMA-MEGURO exhibition

    For more information on the ASAKUSA exhibition

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  • Where the day begins
    October 2, 2015 - January 10, 2016
    Lille Métropole Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France

    Oliver Beer will participate in the upcoming group show Where the day begins at the Lille Métropole Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut. He will present his work Silence is Goldenmade from crystal glas with support of the Cristallerie Royale de Saint-Louis during his residency at Fondation Hermès.

    Opening on the 2 October 2015 the exhibition takes the form of a poetic itinerary on the theme of individual emancipation through (re)cognition of the world around us. Visitors are invited to go on a misterious journey that reveals one's perception and awareness of knowledge, symbols, nature, the body, creation, space and time.

    For further information about the exhibition please click here.

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  • Call to Sound
    September 2, 2015 - September 2, 2015
    Kemankeş Mah. Hamam Sok. No:1 34425 Istanbul, Turkey

    To coincide with the Istanbul Biennal Oliver Beer presents Call to Sound, a site-specific Composition for Mimar Sinan’s Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam in Tophane, Karaköy. Call to Sound is part of Oliver Beer’s series entitled The Resonance Project that works with acoustic resonance, and the relationship between sound, music and architecture. Every architectural space resounds at its own precise musical notes – its ‘resonant frequencies’ – which are determined by the dimensions and the geometry of the space. In Call To Sound the viewer is invited to move through the hamam during the composition as singers stimulate the resonant frequencies of the architecture, just as a wine glass can resonate at the tip of a finger.

    Indeed, in exactly the same way that an organ pipe resounds at its own particular notes, Beer will be using human voices to stimulate the innate harmonies of the building to resonate. The harmonic response is determined by unchanging acoustic physical and mathematical laws, and the new composition will weave these notes into a form of architectural polyphony which is unique to this specific architecture.

    The artist describes how he has ‘tuned’ the Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamam, discovering that tonally the building has a strong Eb as its most important resonant frequency, whilst incorporating the diatonic harmonies of Ab major.

    Beer says: “The Kiliç Ali Paşa Hamam was completed in 1580. The notes at which the Ottoman building resonates, and which it amplifies in response to the human voice, have remained unchanged since the day the architect Mimar Sinan conceived its form. The building’s geometry is so perfectly regular, and its surfaces so dense and smooth, it could almost have been designed as a massive and subtle musical instrument.

    The harmonic response of the building will remain the same – throughout the centuries – no matter what language and what melodies are sung within its walls. The tonality of architecture, something which is largely unrecognized in modern construction, is an instinctive part of our response to our surroundings: in the prehistoric caves of France for example, recent studies have suggested that concentrations of cave paintings and specific red marks indicate points of particularly strong harmonic resonance.”



    Oliver Beer

    Musical Director

    Eray Altınbuken (ITU/MIAM)


    Seren Akyoldaş, Ufuk Atar, Başak Ceber, Nur Diker, Murat Güney, Recep Gül, Baruyr Kuyumcıyan, Deniz Özçelik, Alin Aylin Yağcıoğlu, Canan Tuğberk

    Listen to the artist talk about the performance, interviewed by Cathy Byrd from Fresh Art International. 

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