Article by Louisa Stark in Berlin // Saturday, Apr. 7, 2018
Chiharu Shiota’s new installation, ‘Beyond Time’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, overruns the 18th century Chapel it’s housed in like an enormous spider’s web or Duchamp’s ‘mile of string.’ It is comprised of 2,000 balls of white wool, woven into the artist’s signature mesh pattern and installed as if cascading up to the ceiling from the steel outline of a piano.
The structure, hollow like a three-dimensional line-drawing, represents an absent instrument whilst the white thread is a visual representation of music flowing from it. The installation’s references to sound and human activity that once took place within the Chapel are used to explore the themes of storytelling and memory – both of longstanding interest to Shiota – in a very site-specific way. The woven web is an intricate device that draws past narratives into the present and holds physical pages of sheet music and metaphorical traces of history frozen in motion. Visually, ‘Beyond Time’ is a continuation of Shiota’s practice, which expands the boundaries of separate artistic disciplines; her painterly roots permeate much of her work and, although more subdued than her familiar red thread works, the installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park has the poetic quality of a painting suspended in space.