Careful Cuts

New lens on old skins.

paper cranes

She makes collage from the books of nudes but there is nothing reckless about her approach. She’s like a surgeon. Look. This one looks like a flower, and you think you are getting the obvious metaphor but then she calls it target and you look again and there it is. Bullseye.

I cut the way I was taught to use scissors, she says. Meaning gently, as with paper dolls. I do not tear the figures, she says. Ever. I do not rip, even when I would sometimes like to feel myself as someone who would. But it isn’t in me; I am too careful for that, she says. Instead, she holds and she studies, learning how to look. I follow the lines. I scoop them up, she says, of the nudes. To give them new meaning. 


Inspired by the work of Justine Kurland.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

3 thoughts on “Careful Cuts”

  1. “I do not rip, even when I would sometimes like to feel myself as someone who would.” I get the sense this is autobiographical, but really, do I know you at all?

    1. It’s really a great question, isn’t it? I can understand all the reasons why the answer might be “no” (in this space, what comes through is a distilled and stylized essence with most of the day-to-day details removed) and yet, as someone who has long felt deep kinship with people I only know through their writing, I’m not willing to discount what comes through here as not real knowing. Even the quote you included, I was borrowing that one (the idea, if not the exact words) from the artist that inspired the post, but I had lots of lines I could have borrowed. That one resonated because it feels true to me also. Thanks, Jeff. I am grateful to know you. However limited this space may be. : )

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