State of Being
25th June – 23rd July 2022
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Chiharu Shiota makes manifest invisible webs of attachment. Her works preserve and memorialise the threads that unite each of us; they are infinite, unseen but certain.
State of Being is an assertion of this connectedness. The space is quiet, enveloped in a deliberate stillness where time has been frozen so that it might be more carefully observed. Presented for the first time is a sculptural human figure in red, beneath but connected to an immense web that spans the gallery from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. Each individual line of thread, leading to innumerable meeting points, can be traced to no end.
On a more intimate scale, sculptures and works on both canvas and paper offer access to Shiota’s thinking: singular constellations in the universe that the artist commands. Reclaimed love letters, diaries and photographs – found by the artist in flea markets – are artefacts of other lives lived in other places. Arranged as if falling, their composition in complex arrangements of thread suspends them in time. This technique of interlaced thread is also realised on two-dimensional canvases, presenting the sensation of the infinite as still potent through lines too numerous to count.
State of Being is an embodiment of the complex networks that govern both our external and internal lives. Chiharu Shiota’s practice, in both two and three dimensions, traces the line that distinguishes the body from the mind and blurs it, deliberately hazing the way we move through our own consciousness.