Oliver Beer

Girandole Grove


Responding to Dominique Petitgand, Oliver Beer fills the Girandole Grove with a sound installation which explores the link between the sound and the physical world. By setting up microphones throughout the grove, the artist makes ambient sounds echo and unveil the musical heart of things.

Presentation of the artist’s work by the curator of the exhibition




Girandole Grove

The Girandole Grove owes its name to the fountain in the central room constituted of a set of water jets which converge toward the central pool, where a vertical flood springs from a basket of metallic flowers painted with natural colors.

How to get to the grove ?

About the work

A sound installation fills the Girandole Grove, the reed-filled fountain of which is reminiscent of the myth of the creation of Pan’s flute. By setting up microphones throughout the grove, the artist makes ambient noises travel through the pipes of the garden’s empty fountains. The sounds of the visitors’ voices and footsteps are filtered through the unique resonance of each pipe like an organ, and then broadcast live in the grove. Using a microphone activation system, the artist orchestrates these natural frequencies to create a harmonious composition with the ambient sounds from the grounds. A reference to John Cage’s famous composition 4’33”, tacet is a musical term, instructing a musician to remain silent while others continue to play. The sounds are mixed live with no prior recording.

About the artist

Born in 1985 in Pembury, United Kingdom, Oliver Beer lives and works in London, United Kingdom, and Paris, France.

Through an acoustic perspective, the works of Oliver Beer reveal the innate musicality of the physical world, and constitute new forms of narration and musical composition. His training in both musical composition and visual arts led him to take a very early interest in the relationship that exists between sound and space—particularly through voice and architecture. His research leads to the creation of performances and installations in which the spectator’s mere presence is a form of participation. In addition, his sculptures and videos incarnate the visual, literal, or metaphorical expression of the subtle relationship between space, sound, and the human body.

The artist website

Come and wander around the groves of Versailles


Practical information