Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sachiko Abe

(b. Japan, 1975) I visited the Liverpool Biennial this week. Many of the things I saw were disappointing, however the undoubted highlight was Sachiko Abe. Tucked a way in a corner of FACT is a performance not worth missing. Paper Mountain was the name of the performance, I walked into a warehouse type room to find a beautiful turret of paper, which on closer inspection was made up of tiny shreds of paper, glancing further I saw a woman dressed in white at the top of a mezzanine, cutting into an A4 sheet of paper under a pale spotlight. The intricacy of the piece was fascinating, Abe cuts around the edge of the A4 sheet forming a delicate thread of paper which cascades from the mezzanine and trails to form the paper mountain, which is merely supported by string. A microphone amplifies the cutting sound and I got a great sense of time and presence within the performance. As if Abe had been there for years creating this sculpture, serenely and slowly, part of a fairytale, divine and somewhat magical.
In a separate room there appeared intricate and obsessional drawings. Obviously a theme running through Abe's work. One drawing was on a roll of paper, unfinished. still a vast amount of unrolled paper to work through and two pillows set down on the floor. it was the sense of time which struck me again and the uncertainty of a finished piece. I found the work very calming as if Abe had an escape and was separate from the stresses of life and exists purely for her work. It was this authenticity that I admired the most.

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