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Sarah Morris 'Marcel Gem [Clips]' (2011)


Sarah Morris
Marcel Gem [Clips]
Edition of 60
Silkscreen on Somerset paper
60 x 60 cm | 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.
Signed and numbered
Published by White Cube, 2011

This print by Sarah Morris belongs to the wider series ‘Clips’ (2009–11) that saw the artist extend her inquiry into how power is mapped onto urban environments, looking at office stationery specifically.

Exploring the paths of workflow and consumption we are all caught up in, the artist represents the simple paperclip as an instrument of social control. Tracing endless histories of storage and archiving, the paperclip’s looping structure signifies a hidden mode of domination for Morris. She sees the object in relation to the ‘no way out’ formation of bureaucratic systems, where we are ensnared in a constantly regenerating scheme of self-organisation. Repeated in overlapping patterns and distinguished in multiple corporate colours, the paperclip is represented as an attempt to mask real power through surface seduction. What should be a simple, standard office tool becomes, in Morris’s hands, something altogether more sinister.

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Sarah Morris

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