Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional

Jul 05, 2018 - Tine Bek

For my first post I would like to introduce and explain a bit further my ongoing project The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional. To begin with I will be going through some of the actual works, and over the next week I will show you some inspiration and dig a bit in to elements of my sporadic and widespread research. To finish off I will share some tips on publishers and artists that I think are doing amazing and important work.

To explain my train of thought I should mention that although my practice is probably around 99% photographic, I have a tendency of using other elements when starting and understanding new projects. Books, popular culture, gardens and £60 cakes have been part of my early research for this particular project, which seems to still 2 years on, grow arms and legs. It Originated as a piece of work that should be presented in book form, the project has now turned into more of an installation presentations, however in the end it will be a book again, one day.

The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional, takes its title from a line in a short story by the Danish author Karen Blixen as its starting point. Fascinated by Blixen’s use of description, and her incorporation of mood and colour in Carnival, I sought to push my own focus upon tactility, textures, surfaces and their stories toward a more abstract observation of everyday situations and objects.

The photographs of The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional explore the relationship between ‘the object and the image’, in particular the sculptural object and its image. The work exhibits a curiosity about that transformation from three-dimensional object to two-dimensional image; about its effect upon the object, and how the difference between an object and its image can be ‘held’ within the photograph.

In some photographs, light is used to emphasise the three-dimensionality and location in space of the photograph’s objects. In others, the particular challenges of three-dimensionality are emphasised; a hand steadies an upright foam ‘obelisk’ in one image, a young woman holds herself aloft on a pole, upside down and at a seemingly impossible angle, in a deceptively effortless defiance of gravity.

The everyday is disrupted by fairy-tale, we are reminded of the deep ambivalence of the looking glass, the dangers of beauty and the painful impossibilities of being loved.

The images are playful and disruptive with clear hints of irrationality and the grotesque, a hint of horror. This fantastical and mischievous approach invites questioning of social structures, reflection upon where reality and pretending begin and end.

Part of the work statement is an extract from a text by Siún Hanrahan for Source Magazine.