Oliver Beer: Impossible Composition
- When 5 Jan - 23 Feb 2019
CNR OXFORD ST & GREENS RD, PADDINGTON NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM–5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
Oliver Beer’s practice engages with sound, architecture, and the memory of objects. Impossible Composition reflects Beer’s experience of being an artist in residence at the Sydney Opera House, in 2018. The works draw on the design principles of its architect, Jørn Utzon, who saw the space ‘like a violin’. In turn, Beer sought to ‘tune’ the building, allowing Utzon’s labyrinthine structure to be played as an instrument.
The result is Impossible Composition, a major sound piece arranged for four Australian singers to perform in the tips of the Sydney Opera House roof. Each singer was asked to choose their earliest musical memory, which Beer then re-orchestrated. These include a Mongolian folk song, a chant by Hildegard, a Belgian lullaby, and a Christian hymn. The piece juxtaposes the physical and sonic properties of the building with the personal histories of the musicians. A series of Beer’s two-dimensional sculptures made from fractured cross-sections of violins and cellos surrounds the installation.
Oliver Beer, Recomposition (Clive) 2018. Installation view, 'Oliver Beer: Impossible Composition', UNSW Galleries, 2019. Photo: Maria Boyadgis
5pm Wednesday 30 January, UNSW Galleries
British artist Oliver Beer in conversation with academic and sound theorist Caleb Kelly. Together they will discuss relationships between sound, space, voice, and architecture that arise in Beer's exhibition 'Impossible Composition' at UNSW Galleries.
Commissioned by the 21st Biennale of Sydney at the Sydney Opera House. Recordings made with the assistance of the Sydney Opera House Trust.