27 June 2023

The Japanese word for cut, kire, is more connected to aesthetics than its English counterpart. The aim of cutting is to create ma, a word that roughly translates as negative space or betweenness. Jeans, made of cotton and indigo, are deeply rooted in slavery. Through an act of unmaking, I use Japanese shears to dissect and strip (kire) the functionality of clothing, focusing on the material’s meaning. This work speaks of my own complicity in systemic racial injustice. I expose seams from below the surface, cut and assemble individual flies, and roll up balls of jean strips. No longer a castoff, this material is imbued with potentiality and through my process of close examination (ma), it remakes me.

25% of the artist’s proceeds will go to the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Equal Justice Initiative.