Two years after inaugurating Galerie Templon’s Brussels space, and in the wake of her universally acclaimed participation in the 56th Venice Bienniale, Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota is returning to Belgium with a brand new performance and installation.
Hospital-style beds are imprisoned in what looks like a vast spider’s web. They will be occupied by three sleepers during the exhibition’s private view. The performance Sleeping is like death is the latest expression of Chiharu Shiota’s obsession with the slumbering state: abandonment of the body, estrangement between beings, the presence of a body whose spirit is wandering elsewhere, dreams and reminiscences. The artist is demanding a dual engagement from the viewer, both physical and emotional.
The monumental site-specific installation envelops the space in the graphic interplay of its woven surfaces. Their angular and circular intersections seem to be drawing in the air. The artist, celebrated for her labyrinthine networks made up of clouds of threads, is here exploring geometric experiments and deconstruction. Shiota is exhibiting a series of deconstructed and abstract sculptures for the first time behind the glass front of the Rue Veydt gallery. The exhibition concludes with the artist’s drawings, subtly portraying her mental projections.
Chiharu Shiota combines performance, body art and installations in a process that places the body at the centre of her sculptural work. Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Chiharu Shiota has been living and working in Berlin since 1997. Her artistic language has been influenced by pioneering artists Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Ana Mendieta.Over recent years, Chiharu Shiota has performed and exhibited her work throughout the world, including at the Smithsonian (Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC, 2014), Rochester Art Center, (Minnesota, 2014), la Vieille Charité (Marseilles, 2014), Mattress Factory Pittsburg (2013), Manège (Moscow, 2013), Museum of Art, Kochi (Japan, 2013) and La Maison Rouge (Paris, 2012). She designed the set for Matsukaze, one of the highly regarded Japanese Nô dramas directed by German choreographer, opera director and dancer Sasha Waltz and performed in Brussels at the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie and the Staatsoper in Berlin in 2011. In 2014, she also designed the stage settings for Tristan und Isolde at the Kiel opera in Germany. In 2015, she created an installation for the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Bienniale, The Key in the Hand, made up of over 180,000 keys and exploring the notion of memory. Chiharu Shiota will be taking part in the 2016 Biennale of Sydney.