Characters, Hans Op de Beeck, Domaine de Chamarande

Characters, Hans Op de Beeck, Domaine de Chamarande

COAL and the Domaine de Chamarande invite the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck – of whom the collection of the Fonds départemental d’art contemporain (FDAC) de l’Essonne holds three pieces – to invest the castle with a set of new productions that echo the spirit of the place.

Hans Op de Beeck – Characters – November 23, 2014 to March 29, 2015

Associate commissioner : COAL

Opening Sunday, November 23, at 3pm
Visit of the exhibition, in presence of the artist
Free shuttlefrom Paris
RDV Place du Châtelet at 2pm / Return expected around 5pm
On reservation, before November 20: chamarande(at)

Download the press release of the exhibition

This winter, with Personnages, the Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck – of whom the collection of the Fonds départemental d’art contemporain (FDAC) de l’Essonne holds three pieces – presents a set of new productions that echo the spirit of the place. The artist has indeed imagined a meeting between a space with a particular decor, the 17th-19th century castle, and sculpted characters, anonymous people who animate the rooms with their presence, all bearers of sensitive stories to be shared. The artist thus reveals the particular relationship that our globalized society develops with time, space and the other.

Hans Op de Beeck is a visual artist who practices all forms of expression: sculpture, installation, video, photography, animated film, drawing, painting and writing. His work proposes a reflection on the complexity of our daily worlds, and is particularly interested in the existential questions that continue to cross them such as birth, life, desires, anxieties, diseases or death. He considers man as a being gifted to stage, in a tragi-comic way, the world that surrounds him. Through this approach, he seeks to stimulate our senses, to sharpen our perception, to create a form of “visual fiction” that offers us a moment of wonder and silence.

For this solo exhibition at the Domaine de Chamarande, Hans Op de Beeck adds a new dimension to his work, that of the meeting of an existing setting, an ancient heritage, that of the castle, with his sculpted Characters, nameless beings made of gray plaster. The rooms of the castle are transformed into a vast stage for these silent human-sized figures. Discreetly arranged, in introverted postures, they dialogue with their environment, and gently transport us into a universe where time appears suspended.

All these characters with closed eyes seem impregnated with the calm of introspection, reverie or relaxation. Informal in appearance, they are half-clothed, standing on pedestals, in a spirit reminiscent of the academic conventions of the representation of the nude in sculpture. Hans Op de Beeck endeavors here to characterize his figures by bringing particular details to each of the bodies, by choosing different types of clothing from one character to another, or by decorating them with banal everyday accessories.

Hans Op de Beeck invites us to an intimate exhibition with a spectacular and dramatic tone. As we walk through the rooms of the castle, we meet these characters who seem so familiar to us and yet look so little like us. Like contemplative viewers, we observe these immobile protagonists with unknown stories that inevitably refer us to our own questions, and lead us to reflect calmly on the mutations of our society, on our relationship to others.

Work in the workshop © Hans Op de Beeck

Hans Op de Beeck –

From November 23, 2014 to March 29, 2015
At the castle: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 2-5 pm – Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 1-5 pm

Take a look at

COALITION exhibition – associated programming
COALITION, 15 years of art and ecology

  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.