In harsh desert surroundings, with rocks and cactuses in the background, a wedding or some kind of celebration is taking place.
It is blisteringly hot.
The camera is mounted on a tripod.The scene is a tableau vivant: a living painting in which neither the view nor the picture frame changes.The video offers the viewer a frontal view of a long, festively laid table, with a line-up of seven waiters and two chefs in immaculate white uniforms. Beside the table, to the right, two young waitresses stand with trays of glasses and appetizers.

A gentle wind ruffles the clothing and the tablecloth.The waiters and chefs are very different in terms of appearance and age, from young to old, fat to slim.They are all poised motionless, staring aimlessly in the direction of the viewer. In front of them, an over-the-top, baroque still life of food is displayed on dishes, on stands and under silver lids. Everything, from food to flowers, is beautifully arranged.
On the left, in the foreground, a portly, older man in a suit is having a nap on a chair.

The video has no pronounced narrative line.
The heat, the wilting food and the decoration already reveal the vacuum that will be left behind after the feast, and so undermine what should be a memorable moment.The staged scene of the feast looks awkward and foolish in comparison with the impressive, timeless landscape in the background.
The surface image of chefs and waiters, food, heat and landscape also contains the vacuum and the tragedy of an uninspiring failure of a feast, showing how we celebrate our own mortality with such rituals.

Celebration, Hans Op de Beeck, 2008. Courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano – Beijing – Le Moulin; Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Galerie Ron Mandos, Rotterdam – Amsterdam