23 March to 27 May
Opening Thursday 23 March, 7pm
Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone is an exhibition of contemporary art that responds to a science-fiction story of mind-controlling images.
Ormston House invites you to the preview of Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone, a CCA Derry~Londonderry touring initiative co-curated by Alissa Kleist and Matt Packer. The exhibition features works by Alan Butler (IE), Clawson and Ward (UK), Eva Fàbregas (ES/UK), Pakui Hardware (DE/LT), Joey Holder (UK), John Russell (UK), and Andrew Norman Wilson (US).
The exhibition takes its title, Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone, 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 the way that the physical actions of the body are anticipated by design, such as the animated character of self-assembly furniture in Eva Fàbregas’s 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 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 works by Clawson and 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.