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cecilie beck

opening reception September 8th 6-9pm

Bau gallery

506 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508

gallery hours: Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 6pm


“The reform of consciousness consists entirely in making the world aware of its own consciousness, in arousing it from its dream of itself, in explaining its own actions to it. “ 

 - Karl Marx 1843, Letter to Arnold Ruge                                                                                         


September 8th my solo show FACTORY will open at BAU Gallery in Beacon. When curator and artist Russ Ritell expressed interest in a 2011 installation I had made with items found at Bärenquell Brauerei outside Berlin, I took the train to Beacon and walked around town to see what it had to offer. I had been invited to do an exhibition at BAU gallery. After visiting the space I walked out in the Sun and decided to take a right. I walked down a street that took a swing towards the town centre. It was met by a road that disappeared into the deep green Spring and as I walked along the way I discovered an old rail road overgrown by grass and held down by rusty iron spikes. The rails where running from a coal storage into the nothingness. It looked like an old freight line, and as I was looking for an abandoned factory this could be the first lead. After walking for a while I asked a local for directions. And sure enough, the railway would take me to a hat factory that turned out to be Tioronda Hat Works - one of the 50 hat factories that was once a part of the pumping economy of Beacon in one of its many industrial prime times.


I love looking through dirty windows, the smell of old dust, climbing breaking stairs, collecting forgotten tools, opening doors which haven't been opened for years, walking on fragile floors, running my fingers over crumbling wall paper, sneaking through dark humid basements, feeling the ghosts from another time, being alone in a forgotten building.


In the show FACTORY you can catch a glimpse of the history of Beacon in a total installation that plays a sound scape produced by items found in the industrial town. A town that hosts deserted secrets that aim to be told before Tioronda Hat Works - as the last historical factory in town is torn down as a part of yet another development project in yet another boom in Beacon. Once, before our time, this was a place where hard working women and men spent most of their days, weeks and years. They clocked in, served the machines, conversed over lunch while creating hats that was worn all over the country. Bright colored hats for Sunday mass, big shaded hats for sunny days, fashionable hats for a stroll down Madison Avenue in NYC. 


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