With art there’s usually more than meets the eye, and this large-scale installation in Berlin is definitely more than its bloody appearance. Created by Chiharu Shiota—a Japanese artist based in Berlin, for the gallery Blain|Southern—Uncertain Journey takes the viewers of this space along for a powerful ride that verges into creepy-pasta terrain. At first glance, what caught our attention was the very bloody, very vibrant color of the intricate yarn. As if something straight out of an episode of an early episode Dexter (or even Hannibal), the strands of blood-red yarn are woven into dense clusters overhead, splattered on every single open area of the ceiling above. Anchoring these yarn networks are the bare corpses of small boats placed on the floor.
Viewers of this vast exhibit are encouraged to get a haunting bird’s eye view of the installation from the second-floor mezzanine of the Gallery. Shiota has been working with crimson yarn in the past as well as pitch-black yarn—according to a post from The Creators Project—creating similar works of art that resemble intriguing yet almost nightmarish spider webs. Shiota commented on the effect of Uncertain Journey, stating, “It’s like a red ocean you can see from the top. When people look in the space, they immediately can see the universe, it’s huge. . .the installation is like one vast network, with the boats carrying us through on a journey of uncertainty and wonder.”
This was Shiota’s first site-specific work for Blain|Southern. In 2015 she created another fascinating exhibit called The Key in the Hand for the renowned research and innovation in contemporary art competition, the Venice Biennale. Even though Shiota mostly creates around Japan and Germany, she’s taught at California College of the Arts in 2011 and has shown her exhibits in the USA in solo and group shows. Let’s hope she can bring Uncertain Journey, or a similar work, to the USA again soon.
Uncertain Journey first opened in September this year and will stay on view at Blain|Southern in Berlin, Germany until November 12. Hope some of you can take a look at it IRL! Leave us your thoughts on this intense work of art.
Image Courtesy: Chiharu Shiota and Blain|Southern
Photos by Christian Glaeser