Sunday 7 March 2010

Chiharu Shiota

The Haunch of Venison is the venue for Chiharu Shiota’s first solo exhibition in the UK; I previously saw her work at the Hayward in the Walking in my Mind exhibition. The exhibition includes two site-specific works and earlier pieces all based on her ideas of homeland and identity.

The first room houses One place an installation of 400 reclaimed windows she found in demolition sites in Berlin. They are joined vertically to form two towering walls, spiralling in the shape of a shell with chairs at their centre. I was interested to read that the artist sees them as a metaphor for an opening and a barrier at the same time, in the same way I see my net curtains and that they represent claustrophobia.

The work in the second room also has resonance with my own work as it deals with consciousness, sleep and dreams. In During sleep, the artist has used black wool, as she did in the Hayward exhibition, to fill a room and enclose a bed in a tangle of threads representing the impenetrability of the dream state, leaving only a small tunnel through which the audience can walk through to the next room. The final room houses some smaller cubes entitled Trauma, containing children’s clothes, a brush and other items trapped or protected in a tangle of black threads. More of her work can be seen on her website

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