Ruth van Beek: How to Do the Flowers
Dashwood Books & Ape, 2018
The repetition of images, visual sequences, accidental similarities and free associations form the alphabet of a mysterious language. Starting from her archive, Ruth van Beek makes collages and books. The images from this archive are constantly conversing with one another. A large part of the image archive finds its origin in old manuals. Books that are made as a tool, as an advisor for everyday occupations. The images mainly show 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. Hundreds of images and tests from van Beeks image archive come together. They show a method and create, in turn, a manual for creating new work.