Cut Out of Life is a collaborative project that Flo Kasearu worked together on with the women of the Pärnu Women’s Shelter. Over a long period of time, the artist and her mother, Margo Orupõld, engaged with the inhabitants through a series of workshops. In one of the latter workshops Orupõld introduced the book Why Does He Do That? by American counsellor Lundy Bancroft who specialises in helping in cases of domestic abuse. In the book, the author identifies and names various patterns of behaviour among abusive men. Categorising ten types of men, he among others talks about “Mr Right” or “The Drill Sergeant”. “Mr Right” to him appears as someone who always knows everything better and wants his partner to doubt her mental abilities so he can control her better. “The Drill Sergeant”, on the other hand, takes controlling behaviour to its extreme, running his partner’s life in every way he can.
In the workshop, the artist and her mother both discussed and questioned these essentialistic categories of men, reviewing whether Bancroft’s approach can be useful in recognising mistreating behaviours, from physical abuse to subtle but no less hurtful manipulations.
The wallpaper here is a reproduction of a series of collages the artist initiated as a group activity. She asked the women to choose two types of men and then to depict them. These template-like works resemble the simple, schematic categorisations introduced by Bancroft.