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The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional

The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional is a photographic work which was published as a monograph in 2022 by the Danish publishing house Disko Bay. In this work Bek tries to escape strict hierarchical structures through a series of aesthetic experiments. The book presents images of shapes that run over, flow, crumble and bulge out. An excess of uncontrolled forms that in the sculptural tradition have been dismissed as vulgar or possibly baroque.

“Vulgarity, from the Latin term vulgus, was the term for common people, an insinuation of the ordinary. We consider the vulgar to be crude, below our station, brash, crass, rough – terms that are charged with ill interest, with gall, with remorse. What if vulgar was not a bad thing at all, merely a removal of a mask. The slipperiness of expectation slinking away? - Words from the text ‘Within the commonality lies the sparkling truth’ by Isabella Rose Celeste Davey

The works take a closer look at our dependence on certain shapes and materials. This focuses on the temporary, and becomes an image of an urge to control and tame certain materials and bodies around us. The work explores ideas about form and function in connection with the photographed image. What happens to the object when it is photographed, and which has the most power, the image of the subject or the
subject itself?

The photographic project is a mix of still life, other found forms and created sculptural forms photographed. Fruit, material, fabric and figures are brought together and changed by subtle shades of colour. Bek’s photography tends to seem uneasy, as if something might go wrong. Her images impose a sense of discomfort, little cracks beneath the surface. It is through these minutiae ruptures in the surfaces she exposes that a material hierarchy forms – is marble better than foam? Does a stone fountain overshadow a bathroom tap? – she asks you to scratch through the surface and to see what’s behind.

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