Valentin Beck — Trends can also be seen in a fermentation process

A glance at drawings by Valentin Beck is often not enough to understand his associations behind it. First, you can see a tangle of pencil strokes and expressive color fields on paper. His works invite you to linger. His thoughts seem to be similar. They open up new perspectives on social processes and require attention in order to follow them. Beck is aware of his role: he gives impulses, wants to inspire and inspire reflection.

“Improvement” (2018)

Beck himself explains his drawing arguments as very intuitive. He has no concept when he starts drawing. What counts for him is the formation and the ignition, which finally brings new things into motion. There would never be an end result. That is exactly how it is in society. “A culture arises when different individuals meet and influence each other,” says Beck. He compares society to a fermentation process. There, too, a metabolism arises when different bacteria meet. This process could also be toxic. But there is no absolute or total fermentation process. Here, too, there is no end, only intermediate steps and tendencies. Thus, every social culture is different. That’s what he’s looking for.

But what does this have to do with art? “The focus is on the process. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing myself.”

Valentin Beck

Because in his artistic work he fully engages with these phases and tendencies. In the same way, he devotes himself to music. Here, too, Beck plays music without knowing what the final product ultimately sounds like. Art and music thus represent strong contrasts to his work as a teacher. There, everything is structured and conceptual. According to Beck, this often leads to a clinch between his task as an authority person and a socially critical artist.

“A stay in Vienna” (2018)

Even in this conceptual activity as a teacher, Beck questions the structures of education. Similar to cultures – or fermentation processes – he asks himself the question here: How does someone form? Again, the students were dependent on an impulse, in this case by the teacher, in order to develop and further train. Beck recognizes these patterns everywhere in society. circuits, open and close. Not surprisingly, he likes to draw often on the go. Equipped with the essentials such as paper and pens, it remains flexible and discovers new directions, developments and tendencies. He also likes to be in nature in order to get involved in artistic ideas and processes again. For example, he drew some circles in sand, gravel and rocks and combined natural things with individual, personal interventions. Thus nature becomes part of his artistic work. He also deals with his form of “street art” with the closing of circuits. After all, a circle is only a circle when it is closed.

“o.T. (Cadenazzo – Zurich)” (2019)