Every line makes a cut: Amba Sayal-Bennett | Solo Exhibition

18 November 2019 - 5 January 2020

As the Newtonian nature of space, time and matter, with its assumptions of separability and metaphysical individualism, is undone by quantum physics, we need to develop analytical frameworks capable of understanding these notions in their materiality. In other words, how these things come into existence, rather than starting the analysis after they have arrived on the scene.


Carbon 12 is excited to announce their 70th show, presenting Amba Sayal-Bennett’s second solo exhibition with them, ‘Every Line Makes a Cut’: wherein she presents a new body of sculptural work that investigates such methodological questions. Translating drawn forms across different media and scale, she explores how her works, herself, the materials and material processes that she uses are produced in new ways through their relation, or to borrow feminist theorist Karen Barad’s term, their ‘intra-action’.


For Barad, things do not precede their relation, but rather emerge through particular intra-actions. She suggests that the world exists in an entangled state and that apparatus’ of observation make agental cuts between what is included and excluded from consideration. Sayal-Bennett is interested in the performative nature of this dynamic and the agency of observation in methods of research. Rather than passively reflecting on a world to be discovered, these ways of looking actively participate in the on-going and iterative performance of worlds.


John Law defines method as the enactment or crafting of boundaries between what is present, what is manifestly absent, and what is othered. Sayal-Bennett considers the nature of boundary making through a radical formal simplification of this process. Using geometry and line, she reflects on how acts, or methods, of notation such as diagramming, mapping and writing involve sets of exclusionary practices which are contingent on their object of attention.


Works such as ‘cue’, a title which puns on its resemblance to a poker pool stand and role as a performative prompt, playfully extend an invitation to the viewer into this world of indeterminacy. Here entities are created through their relations, and interpretations actively participate in the works’ continuous production. In this enigmatic sculptural environment, Sayal-Bennett asks us to reflect on how the way in which the world comes to be, and comes to be known, are entangled processes.