For a 2019 solo exhibition at the Met Breuer, titled ‘Vessel Orchestra’, artist Oliver Beer presented 32 hollow objects from the Met’s collection, across many time periods and places, ranging from an ancient Persian jar to a ‘Shiva’ vase by Ettore Sottsass. Suspending a microphone in each of them to capture the specific note at which sound would resonate, he created a two-and-a-half octave instrument that could be played like a piano, revealing the hidden audio dimension of these diverse cultural artefacts and bringing them together in musical harmony. It’s an approach echoed in his favourite nibble, a Korean candy bar (gangjeong) with a ‘super crispy amazing percussion crunch’.

His preferred recipe, by Korean-American YouTube sensation Maangchi, sees freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries added to the more traditional mix of peanuts and sesame seeds, a small nod to the cultural inheritance and transformation highlighted in Beer’s artwork. 

This article originally featured in the April 2021 issue of Wallpaper* (W*264), available for free download 

Beer is part of British Art Show 9, showing until 4 September.