Paper Works

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'Cascade' (1997), shown here at the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York in the exhibition 'Paper Spaces'. This Installation was made in situ from toilet tissue supplied in huge industrial scale quantities by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation as were other paper works made in this series (1992-2000). This paper absorbs light and sound and contains an inherent malleability and sensual beauty. The knowledge that it won’t last and it can’t be owned gave the work an added tension. Here it is fashioned into a solid stack that resembles travertine marble and alludes to permanence, yet is the most impermanent and transient of materials. The sheer scale of the work highlights the ecological impact of this everyday commodity and 1st world luxury. Built to bio-degrade it still takes 2-3 years to break down in the sewers and consumes huge forests.
Referred to as a feminist critique of Richard Serra’s work this series attracted much media attention at the time.

'Bullet', see exhibition 'Here: Artist's Interventions at The Aldrich Museum', consisted of 20 sheets of paper shot 15 times to create small light tunnels that the viewer could look into as if peering into another world.

When these paper works reached the end of their exhibiting lives they were dismantled and returned to the suppliers to be recycled and used for their original intention, as toilet paper.

In the 1990's these works attracted press attention and generated a critical debate around the use of materials in contemporary art. The Guardian critic, Bob Clark wrote in response to Brian Sewell's rantings:

"Any artist who has enraged the London Evening Standard's self-appointed arbiter of artistic decency Brian Sewell is a friend of mine. Susan Stockwell's sensuous pile-ups of toilet tissue have predictably sent him into paroxysms of fake disgust. Here she moulds the paper into elegant block sculptures. Forget the raw bog-roll material, feel the delicacy, the almost tremulous sensitivity of touch."

- Bob Clark, The Guardian - 6/1/96.

Measurements: 27 high x15 long x 9 wide feet

Material: paper

Provenance: U.S.A.

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