Oliver Beer

NEW PERFORMANCE AND SCULPTURE

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NEW PERFORMANCE AND SCULPTURE

NEW PERFORMANCE AND SCULPTURE

Press release

This exhibition will present new works developed by the British artist Oliver Beer (b.1985) whilst in residence at Ely House during a six-month period leading up to the opening of the gallery. Beer, who trained in musical composition, fine arts and film theory utilises his sensitivity to sound as a physical phenomenon to underpin his practice in sculpture, film and performance.

A new addition to his Resonance Project will greet visitors to the gallery on the ground floor. For this series the artist works with classically trained singers, teaching them to sing the right notes at the right pitch in order to activate a given space's own resonant notes. Strategically placing the singers amongst the vaults and columns of Ely House, Beer will instruct them to pick up on the natural frequencies of the space itself, making the architecture resound in much the same way as a wine glass resounds at the tip of a finger. Beer’s new composition will reveal the infamous ‘Diabolus in Musica’, a combination of notes that was believed by the Catholic Church to be the musical incarnation of the devil. It was therefore banned from being played in certain settings until composers such as Wagner started breaking the rules of harmony.

A new series of works inhabiting the boundary between painting, drawing and sculpture, referred to by the artist as ‘two dimensional sculpture’, will be installed in the Berkeley Gallery. In these works, Beer slices through objects such as musical instruments with surgical precision and immerses them in gessoed plaques. By revealing only the cut surfaces of the severed objects, they lose their volume and become two-dimensional versions of themselves