Ruth Van Beek
How to do the Flowers, Act 2 / Rehearsal 1
curated by The Ravestijn Gallery and Claudio Composti
Ncontemporary Project Room
Via Lulli 5
Opening 27 March 2019
The Ravestijn Gallery Amsterdam, in cooperation with Claudio Composti and Ncontemporary, are proud to present How to do the Flowers, Act 2 / Rehearsal 1, a solo show by Dutch artist Ruth van Beek at Ncontemporary Project Room in Milan.
Ruth van Beek’s work originates in her ever-growing image archive. The images, mainly from old photo books, are her tools, source material and context. Van Beek physically intervenes within the pictures. By folding, cutting, or adding pieces of painted paper, she rearranges and manipulates the image until her interventions reveal the universe that lies within them. Merely by suggestion, van Beek triggers the imagination, and therefore the discomfort, of the viewer: passive human hands are animated, objects turn into characters, and abstract shapes come to life. The original image may have been taken out of context, but the familiar imagery – the formal photography of an instruction book, a clearly displayed object, or a staged action – remains recognizable, and thus speaks to our collective memory. Contrasting elements engage in conversation in van Beek’s work: the dead past coming to life; the literal and the abstract; displaying and concealing expressively; both the limitation and the endless possibility of an archive.
In a series of exhibitions Ruth investigates the role of her latest artist book How to do the Flowers as a manual, connector and generator for new work. Hereby bringing the viewer closer to the origins of her work. The same risks will be taken as in the artist’s studio. Circumstances are created in which playing, searching, intuition and humour can play the leading role. The startingpoint for this second exhibition in the series, will be the large format collage Rehearsal 1 and the book How to do the Flowers. What happens when these two works are brought together in one room? Can the book function as a script for the figures in the collages, transforming them into actors? What arrangements can be made? What new scenes will appear? In the presentation the walls will become the stage and a group of works from different times will be brought together.