"The act of cutting is a constant exercise through which I organise and structure my random thoughts.The rhythm of the scissors, the fineness and the length of the paper strips correspond to the process of my thinking and it's effect on the body.
While essentially personal, Cut Papers is a necessary practice for me to formulate my relationship to the external world."
Sachiko Abe's work has explored regimes of subjectivity and cultural imposition, most explicitly with her continuing series of performance work.
In Cut Papers, she has created a surplus of material and meaning within an apparent simple aesthetic economy.
At the opening of Leaving Language Sachiko Abe performed Cut Papers and created a site specific installation for The Metropole Gallery in Folkestone England.
The edge of the page can be sharp enough to cut; metaphoricaly one set of words from another. Turning them carelessly while looking for a story, you might just find thoughts and fingers bleeding. An occasional injury encountered when the material reality of a word slices into your unprotected hands.
The works of Sachiko Abe titled, Cut Papers are durational and irrational. Created through repetition, that could be cutting an eternal revenge on the page and a story excluded from a white A4 sheet?
A grammatology might have choreographed phrases and letters but instead this exists outside the paper. For Sachiko Abe the work is in the vigil, a demonstration against words and calligraphy. We must assume that if she were a multiplicity, all the deposits of paper on Earth would be ravaged and returned to us as forms only written in the mind.
Sachiko Abe is cutting up performance history with an assault on the idea of series and the edition.
She is continuously making the unique sculptural material that is Cut Papers. This offers the question what is the role of her title, maybe it is an implosion into the abyss of mimesis?
Clearly her work is more than cutting papers, however it could be reduced to this. We are invited to look again and ask "what is this?". There is the production of white strands as thin as brushed hair and the amplified scissors to gnaw at the brain.
An immersive envelope of acoustic traces is caused by particles torn asunder with blades guided by the unconscious precision of a magician.
Her work organically grows around her, both psychologically and physically. The audience is the witness and participant in a seance of sorts, an uncanny encounter with a medium.
When American Artist Tom Friedman claimed to have hired a witch to curse the air above his plinth, this accounted for it's name Untitled (A Curse), we understand this provocation as both bringing magic and conceptual Art into collision or even collusion.
In our minds the borders between things are diffuse and fragile and always susceptible to manipulation.
Today's Facebook meme is tomorrow's rally and for Sachiko Abe the proximity of Art to madness could follow a line explored by Michel Foucault. He drew connections between the formation of a modern state and the regimes of ideological power in Europe that used religion as a weapon against women who occupied alternative spaces of knowledge.
In Japan shamanism is key to Shintoism and the Artist is drawing on her family history as practising shamans when she invites us to contemplate the invisible and the intangible in mountains made of paper.
During the opening of Leaving Language she performed for the first time in a black dress with her back to the Sun.
“Is what you see what I see?”
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