Insert Coin – Highway Car

Hans Op de Beeck

16 February 1999

Video. 3′.

Thematically, the work concentrates on our laborious and problematic relationship with time, space and each other. Op de Beeck shows the viewer non-existent, but identifiable places, moments and characters that appear to have been taken from contemporary everyday life, aiming thereby to capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our postmodern existence. Key themes are the disappearance of distances, the disembodiment of the individual and the abstraction of time that have resulted from globalisation and the changes to our living environment that developments in media, automation and technology have brought about.

His work, nourished by a keen interest in social and cultural reflection, also questions the difficult relationship between reality and representation, between what we see and what we want to believe, between what is and what we create for ourselves in order to make it easier to deal with our own insignificance and lack of identity. The visual output of that investigation often produces slumbering, insidious, melancholy and astonishing images.

The short video Insert Coin ­ Highway Car shows an image of a small child in a kiddie car. The car’s movement tips the child back and forth. Instead of enjoying the ride, the child appears sullen and unhappy.