In her new sculpture for Beaufort, Nina Beier takes a look at the sculptural tradition of public equestrian statues found around the Belgian coast. The history of equestrian statues goes back to ancient Rome, where the first equestrian sculpture was made in the 6th century BC. The horseback portraits at the time depicted men active in warfare. It wasn't until the Renaissance that equestrian statues reappeared, with a peak of popularity during the reign of Louis XIV, who thought that the hierarchical pecking order of men on a horse was an ideal way to display power. Nina Beier zooms in on the ebb and flow of power through the element of the horse as elevating display structure.
For Beaufort, Beier gathered found sculptures and put them into formation at the edge of the sea. By putting them in the unusual setting of the sea and echoing the motif, the element of prestige is replaced by drama, and the statues look as if one moment in a forgotten battle at sea has been cast in bronze. This allusion to an army absurdly draws lines across time and place, as the statues disappear and reappear with the tide. A daily vanishing ritual as the ocean slowly swallows the sharp edges of the sculptures until they eventually disappear into anonymity.
Nina Beier has recently had solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein München, Munich, Germany (2018), Jose Garcia, Mexico City, Mexico (2017), Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2015) and Objective Exhibitions, Antwerp (2012-2015). She participated in group exhibitions including Give up the Ghost, Baltic Triennial XIII in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia (2018), The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit, Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico (2018), Action!, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2017), Question the Wall Itself, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2016) and The Future is Already Here – It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2016).
breakwater at the Lefebvrestraat, Nieuwpoort
- Tram stop: Nieuwpoort Bad
- Cycling node: 64
- Walking node: 75