Monday, 13 December 2010

Liverpool Biennial Sachiko Abe

Sachiko Abe’s work encompasses, performance, drawing, film and sculptural installations using cut papers accumulated over the last seven years. Her practice explores duration, repetition and constraints. This is a paradox as she first started creating artworks after leaving the Self Defense Forces in Japan because ‘the life of artists seemed so free.’ Her work since 1997 has explored the regimes of subjectivity which are imposed by society, most explicitly in her series of performance works, Elevator Girl Friend in which she acted outside of the conventional behaviour of the demure elevator assistants who were a common sight in big department stores. Abe says of this work,”While the job sounds boring, it was a “dream job” for young girls because it was believed then that only the most beautiful and elegant person could be assigned to be an elevator girl.”


''She has been sitting perched high up in the massive space of the Furnace every day of the Biennial (apart from Mondays when the A Foundation is closed) and she spends all her time cutting paper into very thin strips.

The tall cone of paper is the result of some seven years of paper cutting. The scissors are slightly amplified but the space is otherwise silent so people instinctively fall quiet and stand or sit and watch, think, contemplate. Many find it a spiritual or even religious experience.

When she is not cutting paper, Abe draws very intricate pieces with a black pen which you can see in the room below where she sits. There is also a ‘white room’ with space for just one person at a time, close the door and sit or even lie down and look at the long strands of paper hanging from the ceiling. Also don’t miss the 16mm film of Abe’s paper-cutting by Ben Rivers.''


White Room Space

Main Sculpture and Perfromance


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