She, A Blueprint (BlazeVOX, 2011)

She, A Blueprint is a text/image collaboration, which explores the ideas of liminal space in architecture and the body, inspired in part by Gordon Matta-Clark’s “building cuttings” and his thinking about “anarchitecture.” The document operates under the assumption that the sentence and the image are structural surfaces and that the writer or visual artist can inhabit the space between words and syntax, between shape and color. Pierce and Hammond West explore notions of mutable space and places of interruption to build, cut, and reconfigure their constructions. In addition, this collaborative project embodies a “third mind” quality yet extends the “intangible force” between collaborators into feminist perspectives. Creating collages from language or poems from visual art results in a blueprint of pattern and swerve—a kind of clinamen for poetic and artistic practice. 


It is an ekphrasis of the female form, one which writes a woman into being where the woman cannot be. It is a reverse-ekphrasis of the formal female, one which images what might be a woman were woman not imagined. Pierce and Hammond West's She, A Blueprint underscores that every grid is someone's narrative, and there is only necessity in the thrust of us.—Vanessa Place

She, A Blueprint, with poems by Michelle Naka Pierce and images by Sue Hammond West, addresses the territorial space of both architecture and women's bodies. Inspired by Gordon Matta-Clark's "building cuttings," the text takes back the domicile as "if the insides were outside." At the same time, Hammond West creates diagrammatic drawings with delicate washes and a subtle geometry, using collage and the tracings of words. The collaboration fosters an intimate interchange between words and art, creating a space for woven fragments, swerving fissures, and harmonic overlays.—Susan Bee