The Quiet View

The Quiet View by Hans Op de Beeck: ‘The Quiet View’ is a permanent installation that leads the viewer down a long corridor to an observation room where he can take a seat. Through a large window he can gaze out over a scale-sculpted landscape. A remarkable sense of depth is achieved through a fifteen-meter trompe-l’oeil, in which perspective is manipulated step-by-step. Mirrors on either side of the landscape make it optically endless.

The viewer is presented with an interpretation of a water feature, with rocky islands and bare trees. If the viewer allows himself to be receptive and open to the illusion, similar to when looking at a landscape painting, the indisputably fictional outdoor space becomes a true experience.

The light gray landscape is sober and tranquil, it invites the viewer to stare at the depths and disappear into a moment of reflection, introspection, such as one might experience when staring at the sea, or a mountain valley. It is no coincidence that this work, which stands exactly where previously the abbey church once was, has a spiritual dimension. The artist conceived this silent space as a place for meditation, entirely in line with the original purpose of an abbey.

Following the installation of ‘Location (5)’ in the Towada Art Center in Japan, this is Op de Beeck’s second monumental perception-oriented artwork to be given a permanent home.

Location: Herkenrode, Hasselt, BE

© All images by Hans Op de Beeck

Hans Op de Beeck produces large installations, sculptures, films, drawings, paintings, photographs and texts. His work is a reflection on our complex society and the universal questions of meaning and mortality that resonate within it. He regards man as a being who stages the world around him in a tragi-comic way. Above all, Op de Beeck is keen to stimulate the viewers’ senses, and invite them to really experience the image. He seeks to create a form of visual fiction that delivers a moment of wonder and silence.

Over the past twenty years Op de Beeck realized numerous monumental ‘sensorial’ installations, in which he evoked what he describes as ‘visual fictions’: tactile deserted spaces as an empty set for the viewer to walk through or sit down in, sculpted havens for introspection. In many of his films though, in contrast with those depopulated spaces, he prominently depicts anonymous characters.