Master of Fine Art School of Fine Art

Beck Slack


Artist Bio:

“Beck is not one to care to master, nor do they engage in any mechanisms to ascertain full visibility in their actions or art. Like Beck’s work itself, there is erosion, wayfaring, entropy, yet empathy and inclusion to behave as debris. There isn’t orthodoxy toward, nor rebellion against, but, instead, an incredible pliancy in the face of agency and power relations within aesthetic appearance.”

Beck Slack (b.1999) is an

artist born from the

American Midwest.

Artist Statement

Fishing Out The Foul Frog (in my throat)

Evolving Installation (2024)

This installation work bears many sentiments. Acts of sending and receiving, vitality and decay, warmth and escapism all meld together in an eerie, liminal landscape. Through gifts of former mentors, inherited artifacts of dead relatives, and the ghostings of sites passed; one finds themselves amongst an anti-futurist divide of being-in-the-present and presence as the continuous looming of “what haunts”. The pieces presented here rift a triangulated divide of the artist’s own position within institutional presence. In creating points of reference between the folk warnings of their childhood, the works of past MFA alumni, and the literal rotting of both the venue and school’s infrastructure (architecturally and culturally), there emerges a gnawing tension of institutional critique through hauntological means. Amidst it all, one thing remains consistent: an unspeakable kind of hesitancy that comes to light.

Fishing Out the Foul Frog (in my throat)

Fishing Out the Foul Frog (in my throat)


Photosensitive clay dust, acrylic mediums, various mulberry and rice papers, Glue Factory metal railings, rust agents, archival ink-jet image on Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art 250 250g/m2 

Paper, duck illustration, green color gels, speakers, green pallet wrap, American electrical outlet cover (with explosion), drawing on vellum, Christmas lawn ornamental deer head and body, ink, solarized silver gelatin print, metal plate, clip, a few bees, a spider, a moth, and maybe a butterfly, the pent up frustrations of my early 20’s 

AI voice-bots generated from the tones of: Jeremy Rojas, Neil Young 

Painting gifted and made by Darren Tesar, ~2016 

Image gifted by Darren Tesar (unbeknownst to the artist, Song-Yun Kim), date unknown  

Wrapped by Beck H. Slack 

Sound work composed and edited by Beck H. Slack, 00;41:00.00
Samples include:  

Tia Blake, Plastic Jesus 

Ralph Stanley, Two Coats 

The Kossoy Sisters, I’ll Fly Away 

Ruth Willis & Blind Willie McTell, Experience Blues 

Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson, My Rifle, My Pony & Me 

Angelo Badalamenti, Twin Peaks Theme 

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Episode 26), ~21:00 


Intro text:

Light permeates the ill-tattered screen, emblematic of gifts inherited.

Antecedental warnings are to be held closely – as cautious gifts of willed, but malleable traumas.

A hunter’s body takes on the morphing of a duck’s head in place of their own.

Below the specimen reads a comment:

“They said this would happen.”

Illustrations of recklessness, overindulgence, and apathy serve as witty reminders to slow down and think.

A fish ignores a worm on a hook wearing a little tophat.

“Even a fish won’t get in trouble if it keeps its mouth shut.”

An odd way to promote compliance or remind the benefits of holding one’s cards close.

Consequently, the decorational signs of my family’s American rural homestead had taught me nothing.

Now, I look back upon them with the fond remorse of “what was”.


This exhibited installation acts as an anthology of various found objects, reference points, images, and sculptural works becoming prophetic constellations. Much like an entropic, liminal, blender of the kitschy illustrations of my family’s multigenerational woodland cabin. Here, three concepts are loosely addressed. 

The Fish: A mythically elusive, and slippery fellow. Socially, surrounded by verbs such as fishing ➡ phishing ➡ baiting ➡ scamming i.e. those of extraction and malpractice. Here, I consider the relation of me and the extraction of my capital, time, and culture by the arts institution for the sake of its own benefit and production. Acknowledging place and context by using recycled structures and substrates from the Glue Factory’s renovations. “Even a fish won’t get in trouble if it keeps its mouth shut.”

The Foul: Referring to water fowl and the duck illustration mentioned earlier. The phrase “they said this would happen” isn’t so dissimilar from “you are what you eat”. It gives context towards the past, and what can become – an antifuturist nod perhaps. Foul-ness, represented by the color green in the literal wrapping and bundling (of signs and signifiers) of my work, the artworks of former mentors (and GSA alumni), and found work. As well as the encompassing of green light and sound as transient, persistent, and membranous.

The Frog: Frogs you see, are an ecological “canary in the mine”. Their skin absorbs all that is around them, and their thyroids function similar to humans. Through chemical absorption, bodily mutations occur. This can tell of the failures within an ecosystem.


Beck H. Slack (B. 1999, Minnesota) uses theoretical semiocide as a way to assess the cultural and ecological relations of dying rural landscapes. Through enabling the suspension of chemical material signifiers in embedded generational memory, we find ambient, ineffable, effects.

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