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Posted 26 January 2017

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone: On Tour to Uillinn, Skibbereen and Ormston House, Limerick

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone: On Tour to Uillinn, Skibbereen and Ormston House, Limerick

CCA’s exhibition Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone tours to Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (14 Jan – 25 Feb, 2017) and Ormston House, Limerick (24 Mar – 27 May, 2017. 

Originally curated by Alissa Kleist and Matt Packer for CCA Derry~Londonderry in Spring 2016, the exhibition (featuring artists Alan Butler, Clawson & Ward, Eva Fàbregas, Pakui Hardware, John Russell, Andrew Norman Wilson), will also include new works by Joey Holder and Jennifer Mehigan commissioned for the touring venues. 

Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone is an exhibition that takes its title from a 1994 book by Belfast-based science fiction writer Ian McDonald. In the book, McDonald describes a young graphic design student, Ethan Ring, who is able to create images that bypass rational thought and control the mind of the viewer. The ability of Ethan Ring’s images to induce tears or ecstasy, to heal, and even kill people attracts the interests of governmental forces, who see the opportunities of harnessing this power for their own ends. As well as being a story of art’s capacities to change people’s emotional and physical behaviour, the book is a story of the artist’s struggle to manage these responsibilities.

The exhibition of the same name is not a direct response to the narrative of this story but instead stages a number of artworks that explore ideas of how our perceptual and physical behaviours are transfigured by objects, images, and new technologies. Included in the exhibition are works that reference how the physical actions of the body are anticipated by design, such as the animated character of self-assembly furniture in Eva Fàbregas’ video installation, The role of unintended consequences (Sofa Compact). Also included in the exhibition are works that suggest the body in a ‘post-human’ hybrid state – the puppetry in Andrew Norman Wilson’s Reality Models; in John Russell’s large prints; and in Pakui Hardware’s Transactions, a series of free-standing sculptural works that contain fleshy images of indeterminable organic or artificial matter, sourced from NASA’s archive. A violence upon the body is suggested by Clawson & Ward in works including their steel ‘branding iron’ sculpture and edited xerox print, This ear says that the artist is not well schooled in anatomy…the ear screams and shouts against anatomy… which depicts an appropriated image of Joseph Stalin’s ear. Throughout Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone, the body is present in fragments and is subject to various regimes of control and imposition.

Impositions upon the body also exist for viewers of the exhibition as they walk around the space and encounter artworks that have their own autonomous movements (Eva Fàbregas’ floor-based works, Self-Organising System, and Alan Butler’s Orphan Transposition series of spinning laser-etched mirrored acrylic panels, featuring out-of-copyright images of Yosemite National Park that freely circulate online). These works not only suggest the unfixed and fluid status of our physical and perceptual bodies, but they also raise questions about the control of artistic authorship; one of the key metaphors of Ian McDonald’s story.

A publication designed by Alex Synge / The First 47 accompanies the exhibition and is available to purchase in all participating venues and by contacting info@cca-derry-londonderry.org.

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