The works on view are the result of Beck looking at and documenting the everyday landscape. Recorded through various techniques including rubbings, photographs, and prints, and engaging natural materials such as rocks, ink, mud, and rain, these works are all different ways of reaffirming: I am here; I exist. As Beck says, “everything is constantly shifting, changing, and particularly after my mother’s death, the only thing that feels stable is the tactility of the ground, the sense of it being touched and graspable. I continue to look down, to look at the ground beneath my feet, to remind myself of where I am. I bend down to make a print, to pick up a rock, to move a brick, to make a rubbing of the street in order to feel gravity, feel the pull of the earth, and hold on tight. And yet, everything is made of energy and matter, particles and fields and bits that are always moving, shifting, and disintegrating.” Beck’s works are constantly testing the solidity of the ground by exploring various ways of touching, while also proclaiming ground as unstable, forever both solid and shifting.
The act of printmaking, of making a copy or facsimile from an original, runs through all of these works. For Beck, the print is a trace of an action grounded by touch and feel. Rubbings of the road are copied and layered into thousands of Risograph prints, each one unique. Photographs of the road are woven together to create a new topography. Bricks from a demolished structure leave traces on paper, built up from rain and mud. A found rock becomes a salient object, akin to the Japanese suiseki rock appreciated for its aesthetic value; the black ink on its surface left behind after a series of prints, another trace of an implied, yet not visible, action. While works on paper are tenuous and fragile, the rock is solid.