© Bec Imrich

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Bec Imrich

Philadelphia, PA

Artist Statement

Late in life while she was suffering from memory loss, my paternal grandmother used to create provisional booby traps in an attempt to track who entered her space. But she would inadvertently set them off herself and forget, further fueling the anxiety and paranoia that caused her to create them in the first place.

Inspired by this allegory of a futile booby trap, I make sincere yet unavailing protection devices that subtly collapse, confuse, and conflate the 2d-image space into 3d armatures and supports—trespassing between photo, drawing, and sculpture. My work mines the liminal space where elements of vaguely ominous domestic environments and paranoid interior worlds intersect with the shared pressures of internalized capitalism, alienation, and (environ)mental precarity. Where does personal turmoil converge with societal ills? Is the private political? These flattened sculptures and sculptural images are symptoms of this vacillation between internal perseveration and external stimuli.

The title of this series of work, “ending fatigue,” is borrowed from film studies and refers to the feeling of frustration and exhaustion that occurs when a movie appears to end several times or reaches a climax but then keeps going interminably. I’m interested in eroding the binary between blind optimism and doomsday thinking that is cultivated in late capitalism, that affects both personal relationships and our relationship to the world.

On a micro level, I’m interested in how the body stores memories that we are unable to access, and the brain somehow only releases these fragments when we are ready to reckon with them or have the capacity to understand them. The images that I draw are side doors to processing buried memories, but they usually work in reverse—forging significance out of the quotidian as a way to process the world. The graphite drawings reference photographs I’ve taken subtly conflated with suppressed memories, dreams and observations from daily life, a visual lexicon of premonitions and allegories. Removed from their original context, the work vacillates between reading as hopeful or ominous depending on your state of mind.

My work subtly troubles connotations and gendered expectations of the materials I use, as well as the labor of fabrication. The aluminum nails that I use to secure flat stock around my frames are actually carpet tacks that reference a domestic material that would normally remain hidden out of view. Painstakingly built up layers of pencil graphite transition to spray on dry-graphite lubricant used to minimize friction in machine parts. I hand-cast metal pieces by reusing non precious metals and embed them onto the surfaces of my drawings using hardware like tiny machine screws and earring posts. I’m driven to create things that seem threatening but are actually tender, and vice versa (menacing metal spikes are in fact cast medallions from an acupressure mat, a foreboding fiery landscape is actually depicting snail teeth from a microscopic perspective).

© Bec Imrich

Bec Imrich's Portfolio

© Bec Imrich

Artist Biography

Bec Imrich is an artist, writer, and educator born in Cambridge and working in San Francisco. Her interdisciplinary practice is grounded in drawing and photography. She holds an MFA in studio practice and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies, both from California College of the Arts.



© Bec Imrich

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