Cut Out & Keep

David Steans, Mood Board, 2016 (video still). Courtesy the artist.

Think through things. Need to. Need to breakdown to recombine. Need to depressurise the pressure behind the eyes. De-pressed and un-mind. False sense of security — pushing thumbs into sockets — blanket ban on feelings. Hands on table. Scissors in hand, pull out magazine.

Brackish backwaters at the back of the throat. Sobriety shakes. Growing internal density. Layering up, sluicing down. Worlds in front of you. Words in front of you. Look at the images. Cut out, cut out, cut out and keep.

Tracing backwards through mislaid leakings of thoughts. Stray thoughts, stray cats. Making something of — something of that. All the clipped, cropped, cracked, cached, broken, breaking, leering, fearing. Returning to the start. Pick up scissors. Intervene. Clip, clip, clip, assemble, stick. Grind teeth. Lean.

Scissors up, cut through. Tracing edges of objects, edges of faces, edges of hedges. Nothing matches, nothing means. Nothing feels the way you do, except all the other people who feel like you. Cut out, cut out, cut out and —

Imagine the collage you’d do if you were asked to do a collage of you. Images of gristle caught in glue. Tufts of hair, streaks of fat. Fleshy tracks, all arranged around fur from your cat. Scissors down, breathe. And again.

Scissors up, scissors out. Punch holes. Crop, hack. Collage, quel âge, collage as-tu? Cut out, cut out, cut out, cut out and chew.


Commissioned by Spectrum: A Survey of Artists Moving Image for event THE DIGITAL (IN)STABILITY, at Royal College of Art, London on Tuesday 11th October 2016 & Blip, Blip, Blip, East Street Arts, Leeds on 19th November 2016.

Featuring: Claire Davies, Anne Haaning, John Lawrence, David Steans. Guest curated by Harry Meadley, with guest artists Richard Bell (RCA Screening) & Josephine Flynn (Blip Blip Blip screening).

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