“Aki Sasamoto uses everyday objects, movement, set design, and food in her performances to evoke the absurdity of the human experience. She improvises environmental elements such as equations or sounds in ways that are impossible to anticipate. This intangibility keeps us on our toes and somehow coalesces into magical coherence. The resulting energetics resonate with my grandfather’s own experiential art.” – Alexander S. C. Rower
In 2012, the Calder Foundation invited Sasamoto to participate in Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap, a 12-hour program held at the McKittrick Hotel in New York City that featured contemporary artists and performers whose works embody immateriality and its transformation of space. Nearly a decade later, in the spring of 2021, Sasamoto was an artist-in-residence at Atelier Calder, which is operated out of Calder’s studio and home at Saché in the Indre-et-Loire Valley. During her four months in France, Sasamoto created Squirrel Ways, a performance and installation about the blurred lines of interior and exterior domestic spaces. Every activation of the work is different, with Sasamoto talking about the objects she has placed in and around a series of mobile walls as she physically goes through and underneath them. The piece is humorous and unexpected, and its improvisational nature builds a palpable sense of anticipation. While creating the work at Atelier Calder, Sasamoto drew from the relationship between Calder’s objects and the domestic environment. “When volumes exert their ownness, and behave like living characters in our psyche, those sculptures truly occupy the same space as us. I like how sculptures can blur the line between art and life like that.”
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