Aki Sasamoto
Squirrel Ways
18 Mar – 7 Jun 2023
Arts and Letters, New York, NY


Aki Sasamoto, Squirrel Ways, Installation view, Arts and Letters, New York, NY, 2023. Photo by Charles Benton.

Performances on March 18, April 8, and May 20, 2023

Sasamoto’s installation and performance, Squirrel Ways (2022), which premieres in the United States at Arts and Letters, has the semblance of a living room. It is constructed from modular shutters, doors, and mulberry-papered sliding screens. Colorful personal objects are faintly visible through the screens, whose indeterminate design falls somewhere between door, room divider, and wall. A clothesline hangs overhead with a day’s laundry.

In a series of improvised performances, Sasamoto follows the questions this fluid environment raises. At what point does outside become inside? At what time in the cycle does dirty laundry become clean? At what depth does the surface of the ocean begin? The ambiguity of transition, or the “thickness of the border,” as Sasamoto puts it, is something the artist considers with deadpan humor as she transforms the work’s movable barriers into drawing surfaces and peepholes, or discovers the fishing lures, rulers, and sponges squirreled away within its paper compartments.