Friday, September 4, 2009

ghosts in string and windows

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota creates immense installations with string, furniture, windows, and live people.

What I thought, on first glance, was a frenetic charcoal drawing, was actually a photograph of a white room, with a piano and chairs completely cobwebbed in black strings.  The strings are attached to the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the furniture; they wind around each other and are woven in such a way that they define space and become shapes - or beings - themselves.

Other recurring items she uses are old windows from Berlin construction sites, hospital beds, children's school chairs, and shoes.

...but it's the string that gets me.  A ball of yarn sitting on a desk is such a quiet, soft, unassuming thing.  This artist turns it into a horrible, anxious tangle, a web of almost looks organic, like an intelligent, plotting Spanish moss, ready to grow around you and swallow you up if you stay too still, too long.

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