Ruth van Beek book signing for How To Do The Flowers
Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
One of two publications featuring contemporary Dutch artists to be released this September by Belgian and US publishers A.P.E. and Dashwood Books How To Do The Flowers draws upon the extensive archives of Ruth van Beek. The images from this archive are constantly conversing with one another: The repetition of images, visual sequences, accidental similarities and free associations form the alphabet of a mysterious language. A large part of the image archive finds its origin in old manuals and catalogues, books that are made as a tool, as an advisor for everyday occupations. They often include hands that demonstrate how something is supposed to be done. Hands that dig in the earth, that make dolls, that arrange flowers, that cook. All sorts of daily actions pass by. By focusing on the action and detaching from the original context, van Beek encourages imagination, thereby provoking un-comfortable and uneasy feelings: passive human hands become animated, objects become characters and abstract shapes come to life further enhanced through her intricate collages. Hundreds of images and tests from van Beek's image archive come together. They show a methodology that in turn creates a manual for new work and an aesthetic that is entirely her own.