Oliver Beer in Museum Voorlinden

The devil is in the music. These 16 ceramic objects are each producing their own unchanging inherent musical note at which it resonates through a microphone. The notes form a dissonant chord that in the Middle Ages was considered a musical incarnation of the devil.

British artist Oliver Beer (@oliverbeerstudio) created “Devils” (2017) by putting microphones in ceramic objects from different ages and parts of the world. Both religious and mundane. Giving the anonymous potters a voice that supersedes history and geographical boundaries.

Beer’s background in both music and fine art led to an early interest in the relationship between sound and space, particularly the voice and architecture. The objects used here are actually quite small compared to some other spaces he used in his performances: he did the same using the staircases of MoMA PS1 and an Ottoman hammam, for example.

The work is part of the beautiful new “Rendez vous” exhibition in Museum Voorlinden (@museumvoorlinden) which opened last week. The museum re-opened to the new reality of corona-proof museum visits, and did so with no compromise to the experience, I was very lucky to find out. This is still one of my favorite places to be in the country.