Chiharu Shiota: The Hand Lines

She studied with Marina Abramovic (Marina Abramović), become famous for its extreme performance. Body subjected to various ordeals, is the main material Abramovich, whose works «talk» of the destructive passions and violence. Appeal to the theme of the body has had a decisive influence on the work Shiota, which, we note at the beginning of his career to paint. At its first exhibition, arranged, when the artist was only 20 years old, exhibited only a picture. But soon she had been disappointed in this kind of art. «And there was, so to say, my” technical time “- only his eyes, brushes and paints. No feelings, only one technique. As many as half a year I had a feeling that I had reached an impasse and stamping in one spot. To me it was not art ». Like the great European modernists of the last century, Shiota found inspiration in the ethnographic museum. «There were various figures and artifacts, brought from Africa. And color. Telá. Art, combined with life ». Shiota started to think about new ways to express their thoughts. After a while she went to Australia. In 1994, she presented a performance in Canberra «Transfiguration in the picture», where it spattered himself (and the walls of the gallery) with red paint. This gesture can be perceived as a symbolic farewell to the painting – spraying himself with paint, the artist would like to announce that it will canvas own body. Using red, she says about the sincerity of art: every job, every material – it is «the flesh» artist. Shiota soon realized that her interest to the border states – between life and death, between sleeping and waking. The human body has begun to appear in her work less and less, and his place was taken by things that remind him. In 1996, Shiota fielded its first «Wide Web», became known as «return to consciousness». It has entangled the whole room with woolen threads, and so closely that enter into the room was impossible. In the heart of the web gleamed ampulla with the blood of the artist. The installation serves as a metaphor of the body, located on the verge of death (or in a state of lethargy), in which lukewarm life. In 2000, the artist presented the work of «Memories of the skin», to which hung in a series of 22 long white dresses, each seven meters in length. All the dresses were covered with earth, on top of them, pouring water. Of course, this work brings us to the ideas of performance «Bath» – the earth as a metaphor of origin, «root», tightly buried in the body. Dresses also reminded of the human body ( «signs of life») and serve as a symbol of eternity, which is much «more» human nature – hence the huge size. A long white dress in a timeless, for many centuries, it is associated with sleep and death (as a nightgown, robe, hospital and funeral shroud), as well as the bride (in many cultures, the wedding rituals have been built on what was considered a woman who marries a girl standing at the crossroads of two worlds – it «dying» in his family and re-born in the clan of the groom). Shiota uses white dresses quite often: in some installations, they are woven into a black spider’s web, while others are «entry point», from which the different sides stretch red thread.  In 2000, the artist has created a web of four hospital beds, one of which she sometimes slept. The performance was called «During sleep». In another work, «Fear …» (2003), there was only one bed, in which Shiota, completely naked, sitting with his back to the audience. Many visitors say that the installation of the artist evokes the ghosts of Japanese films – for example, «call», which appear «Yurei» – a woman with long black hair, the most famous kind of Japanese ghosts. In this paper, «The fear …» black strands can serve as a continuation of the artist’s hair, and then the whole installation can be seen as a ghostly, supernatural body. However, it should be noted, the artist does not want to scare the viewer, but rather wants to create a situation of the country, lethargic repose. One can recall the work of the most famous artist, uses the image of a spider – Louise Bourgeois (Louise Bourgeois). Her sculptures, symbolize the spider is not evil and cunning (usually associated with these little hairy creation), and maternal love. It is known that spider, eggs, jealous care of the cocoon. And the cocoon, and the Web can mean peace, but the image of a cocoon of tranquility says mother’s womb, and the Web – on the inevitability of death. In 2002 the artist presented a version of the performance «During sleep», where all beds were sleeping girl. For the I International Biennial of Seville, which was held in 2004, she «romanticized» its work, made it more cinematic: instead of black thread, she decided to use the vines. The result was installation of «Out – inside», not a castle-like Sleeping Beauty, not that any greenhouse. Interestingly, the walls of «greenhouse» were decorated with old windows that the artist gathered in Berlin. Since then, Shiota often uses in its work to the window, once belonged to the now demolished or renovated homes. According to the artist, windows, whose function – serve as a clear boundary between the private, «small» world and the public, «keep the memory» of the inhabitants are no longer existing buildings. Its huge structures out of the windows finds expression is another important theme of her art: the theme of silence. She drew attention to the fact that the inheritance of objects that she uses – whether it be windows, shoes, clothes, furniture or anything else – it is quiet, but they were all charged with human energy.  The most famous product Shiota, without doubt, is the installation in 2002 «In the silence». The creation of this installation artist inspired by childhood memories of fire from the neighbors. In her mind imprinted image of a burning piano, and she decided to enter it into their work. Artist set fire to a piano and a chair, and when they are completely charred, she wrapped them in black thread. Thus, subjects had lost their inner contents, but retained the form. Here is what Shiota: «What remains – is silence. The more I think about it, the stronger the feeling. Uprights are no longer making a sound, the artist no longer paints a picture, the musician no longer playing music. They lose their function, but not beauty – they become even more beautiful ». A burned-out chair can not sit on the charred piano can not play – they still exist, but in our minds they have already turned into ghosts. Placing them in their webs, the artist translated the items into sleep. A few years later she met another version of this installation, this time with a much larger number of chairs. Earlier installation Shiota occupied an entire room, but in recent years, she began to place their black «web» in containers. It is worth noting installation in 2006 «trauma», which is against the backdrop of pristine white walls of the gallery looks simply amazing. In May of this year took place «auction debut» Chiharu Shiota. DVD with a performance of «Bath» brought to the Tokyo auction Shinwa equivalent of 3,8 thousand euros. It is expected that in future bids will appear more and more works of the artist.

AUTHOR: Julia Maksimova