Michele Benvenuti

Time is the Key  (catalogue exposition Passo  d’Addio, Lido di Camaiore 2000)

Time is the key that transforms and transforming narrates. Time passes... When the party is over, when everyone has gone- it continues its labour endlessly...

...The traces that time leaves behind are- for Beta- the subjects of history: A house in construction abandoned for years, remnants of paper mache of a past carnival, the ruined splendour of a big circus ten- these provide occasions for searching, within dust and rubbish, the transfigurations of things- mutation, recycling, without end- as time itself.

...Behind this process, that transforms a series of objective elements into an extraordinary, emotive journey, is poetry. It is with this poetry in the images that Beta captured the attention of the observer and evokes all the associations, memories, emotions. No dusty glass, photographed by me would have that effect.
By loaning us her eyes and utilizing the medium of poetry, they become a part of us: Hers are the traces the clues, the aspects but completely ours are the dreams that result from it.



Fred Licht (Guggenheim Foundation, Venice)

Exposition The face speaks of  Siebel and Heilfurth in Pistoia ( in: The Artist’s Book: The Face speaks  2008 - (excerpts)

...Photography as well as sculpture requires the active intervention of the artist. However, when the work on a sculpture is done, it is "there", whereas a photograph "develops". The secretive action of the light on the photographic paper and the just as secretive developing process in the darkroom characterize photography and differentiate it from every other form of picture.

Even ... journalistic photography retains an ephemeral effect, as if something should be succeeding it. Beta Siebel uses this suggestion of continuity in an extraordinarily expressive manner.Her photo-graphs embrace the sculptures of the exhibition and set a counterpoint of continuity and expansive-ness against the limitations and immobility of the stones.

... Perhaps because she is a woman, Beta Siebel can perceive the individual as a component of to-getherness. In her photographs, undefined space, light, and I would say, also a sense of temperature are permeated with parts of physiognomies. In the dialog between the two artists of the exhibition, I could feel the vibrations of a strong desire to console that emanated from the works of Beta Siebel.


 

Massimo Durante (University of Turin)

Difficulty of Beauty and Beauty of Difficulty (Culture supplement of Il Sole 24ore, Torino 2007) - (excerpts)

NThe photos of Beta Siebel photos only hint at the human face: It is not a portrait but the suggestion of something that only appears to disappear, asking to be saved. This face reflects different feelings of temperature and need. Each version is slightly different as if each time the photo could only catch a single tiny human characteristic.

Each photo is a triplicate remembrance: a remembrance of what is gone, a remembrance of what has created the remembrance and what is still to come.

It is this last fleeting remembrance that has value as a testimony, as an offering that someone may receive, that interests Beta Siebel. This is the face that delivers hope, the possibility of a new arrival. In the cycle of Beta Siebel's photos, the fragility of this face shows another aspect of the beauty of difficulty.



Elisa Giannini, Facing

Four artists explore the theme of the human face and its multiple expressive potentials, Pietrasanta 2008

Beta Siebel, a photographer, works by superimposing a series of variations upon a single motif, much like a musical variation. The motif is that of a woman's face, captured through a photograph the artist herself might have taken (but in some cases may have simply found), and reproduced in its essential features, in a rigorously black-and-white version, in which the features become a delicate graphic map.

The variations are obtained by superimposing (not through digital manipulations, but through the traditional technique of photomontage performed in a darkroom) the face upon another photograph of a landscape or detail thereof, such as a greenroom, light reflection, or bit of wall.

Thanks to these superimpositions, the same face assumes rarefied, yet essential, expressive modifi-cations. A melancholic expression assumes the hint of a smile, or becomes the face of desperation itself, solely by virtue of the texture that is superimposed upon it and that seems to surface as if from the skin itself. For example, the merging of a young woman's thoughtful face with the streaks of rain running down the transparent surface of a greenhouse results in a melancholic, yearning expression that seems entirely uncontrived, yet highly moving.