In a growing archive of found photographic material, images are arranged in constantly changing ways. From these odd combinations and decontextualized images Ruth van Beek makes her work.
Van Beek treats the photos she collects as objects. By cutting and folding, adding shapes of watercolor painted paper and connecting similar elements in different pictures, she makes the form, scale and color interplay. These interventions are never hidden, but play a lead role in the work.
Van Beek uses the visual codes of photography, a dark backdrop, a shadow, a pedestal, or the way a person holds something in their hands, to guide the viewer into believing in the incredible rarity or importance of the shown object or animal.
Displayed as archeological objects, puzzling valuables of an unknown time, they form a collection in which not only the story within one image is important, but in which the interaction between the different works and their physical appearance tell a story of their own.
The work becomes mysterious, non-chronological, and as a whole never finished. An encyclopedic series showing a hidden world within existing photography. A world of dreams and nightmares, weirdness, futilities and beautiful coincidences.