Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone
The exhibition takes its title from a 1994 book by Belfast-based science fiction writer Ian McDonald. In Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone, 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 legal, military, governmental, and commercial forces, who all 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 at CCA is not a direct response to the narrative of this story, but, instead, stages a number of artworks that explore similar ideas of how our perceptual and physical behaviours are transfigured by objects, images, and new technologies. Included in the exhibition are works that reference the way that the physical actions of the body are anticipated by design, whether that’s the animation of self-assembly furniture in Eva Fàbregas’s video installation The role of unintended consequences (Sofa Compact), or else in the material use of airport escalator handrails in Clawson & Ward’s sculpture Killing time and everything else (or the passersby who stopped to watch). 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 print Parallel Domination Facility, or in Pakui Hardware’s 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 in two further works by Clawson & Ward: their ‘branding iron’ sculpture and a print work, “This ear says that the artist is not well schooled in anatomy…the ear screams and shouts against anatomy…”, which shows an appropriated image of Joseph Stalin’s ear. Throughout the exhibition, the body exists in fragments and is subject to various regimes of control and imposition.
Impositions upon the body also exist for viewers to the exhibition as they walk around the space and encounter artworks that have their own autonomous movements (Eva Fabregas’s floor-based works, Self-Organising System, and Alan Butler’s Orphan Transposition series of spinning laser-etched acrylic panels, featuring out-of-copyright images of Yosemite National Park, freely circulating 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 original story.
Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone has been generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In early 2017, the exhibition will tour in different iterations to West Cork Art Centre, Skibbereen and Ormston House, Limerick, supported by The Arts Council Ireland / The Arts Council Northern Ireland’s Touring & Dissemination of Work Scheme. The exhibition will be accompanied by a public programme, details of which will be available on our website over the coming weeks.
Alan Butler received his MFA from LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2009). Butler’s artistic output, often taking form through video, sculpture, drawing, and large-scale installation, conceptually reflects and refracts the inner-workings of the Internet and the politics of appropriation. Recent activities include solo exhibitions We Were Promised Anarchy, But What We Got Was Chaos, Solstice Art Centre, Ireland (2015); Youth Outreach In N. Korea, Supermarket 2015, Stockholm, Sweden; The Parallax View, Ormston House, Limerick, Ireland (2014); and group exhibitions 2FUTURES: Anthology 2, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Telling Lies, RUA RED, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Please return, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2015), among others.
Clawson & Ward
Clawson & Ward is the collaborative partnership of Anna Clawson & Nicole Ward. Their recent activities include: Artists in residence at RUPERT, Vilnius, Lithuania (2015), When Two or More are Together, SWG3, Glasgow International (2014) and Shiny Black Thoroughbred (solo), Tenderpixel, London (2013). In 2013 they launched STUDIO36, a self-initiated residency series hosted in their studio. An accompanying STUDIO36 poster-rack publication toured to The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2014), Tenderbooks, London (2015) and Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2015).
Eva Fàbregas is a graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and the Universitat de Barcelona. Recent activities include The stuff that surrounds us, a two-person exhibition at José de la Fuente Gallery, Santander (2016) and solo exhibitions How are you feeling today?, Window Space (Whitechapel), London (2015); Unforeseen changes, Green Parrot, Barcelona (2014); Eva Fàbregas & Andrew Lacon, Kunstraum, London (2014); Homeless abstraction, Plazaplaza, London (2013), among others.
Pakui Hardware is the name (coined by Alex Ross) for the collaborative artist duo Neringa Cerniauskaite and Ugnius Gelguda which began in 2014, though the duo has worked together since 2012. Their latest solo shows include venues of MUMOK, Vienna (forthcoming), ExoExo, Paris (in collaboration with Fenetreproject) (2015), kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga (2015); Jenifer Nails, Frankfurt (2014); Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius (2014); 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (2014), NADA New York (2014). They have participated in group shows at National Gallery of Art, Vilnius (forthcoming), Threads: A Phantasmagoria about Distance (curated by Nicolas Bourriaud), Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania (2015); Valentin, Paris (2015), Soy Capitan, Berlin (2015); Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden (2014); CCS Bard / Hessel Museum of Art, New York (2014) and ar/ge Kunst Gallery Museum, Bolzano, Italy (2014).
John Russell studied History of Art at Goldsmith’s College of Art and fine art at Slade School of Art and Saint Martin’s School of Art. He was a co-founder of the artists’ group BANK, of which he was a member for ten years participating in over fifty exhibitions and events, as well as several publications. Since leaving BANK in January 2000, Russell has worked both independently and collaboratively in producing exhibitions, publications as artworks and curatorial projects. His work has been shown at Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway (2015); Treignac Project, Treignac, France (2013); MOT International, London (2015); Allegra La Viola Gallery, New York, NY, USA (2013); The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK (2013); ICA, London (2011); Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK (2011); The Grey Area, Brighton, UK (2011); Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria (2011); Tate Britain, London (2010); and Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK (2009).
Andrew Norman Wilson
Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist based in New York. His work has exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris (2015); Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2014); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2014); The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2014); Project Native Informant in London (2014); Fluxia in Milan (2014); Yvon Lambert in Paris (2014); the New York Film Festival (2014); CCS Bard in Anandale-on-Hudson New York (2013); MoMA PS1 in New York (2013); the San Francisco International Film Festival (2012) and the Images Festival (2012). He has lectured at Oxford University, Harvard University, Universität der Künste Berlin, and CalArts. His work has been featured in Aperture, Art in America, Artforum, Buzzfeed, Frieze, Gizmodo/Gawker, Kaleidoscope, The New Yorker, and Wired.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.