Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota

Work from Inside/OutsideLebensspuren (Traces of Life) and Trauma / Alltag.

Reviews of all sorts can be found here. Goff + Rosenthal has a great collection of her work as well. Spend some time on her site, there is tons of great work there. I saw the Lebensspuren installation last fall in Berlin, and the photo does not do justice to the scale or experience of the work (as can be expected).

“Enveloping items of clothing within a cocoon of wool threads in the front room, Shiota weaves an unsettling allegory of the absent body with a compelling tension of sublime intimacy and haunting imprisonment. The black web traces the artist’s performative movements, as though she were drawing in space with yarn, demarcating the spatial modalities of the building in relationship to the clothing and defining an impenetrable private space within the public exhibition.

Her second, room-encompassing installation consists of a towering structure of windows, which stands like the remnant of a construction that has been left behind. Associating herself with the city in which she lives, the work goes far beyond a mere sense of personal mourning:

“When I look at disregarded windows at a construction site, I imagine the life of those people who looked from East Berlin over to the life of the people in West Berlin…. Everyday, I am looking for windows until I am exhausted… They are like the boundaries of myself that I cannot cross.”
Questions relating to the futility of human effort, the meaninglessness of individual existence and the inevitability of human fate arise from this work, which is at once powerful yet at the same time communicating a feeling of empathetic powerlessness. Chiharu Shiota juxtaposes the relationship between the internal and the external, shifting our emotional experiences as well as our subconscious memories.” – press release from Goff + Rosenthal 

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