"Stephanie Oursler’s 5 Cuts, an artist book originally self-published in 1975 in Rome, comprises a series of black and white images accompanied by a handwritten text. The artist had found the displayed images – stills from unidentified silent films – and combined them with her autobiographical writing, creating both an intimate recollection and a literary construction of her own life. Stephanie Oursler’s artistic vocabulary tells of her active participation in women’s groups and networks in Rome in the 1970s, in which political issues were addressed via a distinctive articulation between memory, history and fiction. Five Cuts weaves together the personal and the political to speak about something that lays beyond linguistic expression.
Stephanie Oursler (*1938, Baltimore, USA, † 2018, Rome) arrived in Rome in the early 1970s from New York, where she had been an activist in the civil rights and in the women’s liberation movements. In 1976, together with Carla Arcadi, Suzanne Santoro and others, she co-founded the Cooperativa del Beato Angelico, an all-women exhibition space in Rome. 5 Cuts is here published in its original form and expanded by a text by the art historian Giovanna Zapperi.
5 Cuts is the first title from Re–Re. This series of reprints aims at making historical material accessible, whose political and artistic positioning we consider relevant today.