SCAD Museum of Art presents Chiharu Shiota’s "Infinity Lines," an expansive site-specific commissioned installation. This immersive artwork is the newest iteration of Shiota’s exploration of the interconnectivity between one’s possessions and the stories they hold. Labyrinthine networks of yarn intertwine objects and embody their embedded narratives, leading viewers along a line of questioning — who has owned these objects, and why do they own them no longer?
For this exhibition, Shiota has incorporated antique wooden chairs that show evidence of their previous use. Red yarn connects one chair to another and also to the surfaces of the gallery itself, filling the space and tying individual stories and memories together, like neurons mapping memories in the brain. Just as memories and life experiences stay with each individual throughout their lives, the objects in the exhibition retain the personal histories of their owners and symbolically link present and past.
Shiota describes her installations as "drawings in space." The seemingly endless webs of red or black yarn have ensconced shoes, keys, beds occupied by sleepers, charred pianos and more. For the artist, red yarn connotes the body and human interaction. Performance is a longstanding part of Shiota’s practice, and even when she or other performers aren’t present in her installations, corporeal physicality remains an integral component of her work. Viewers navigate the space through pathways she determines, encountering found objects along the way. Shiota’s incorporation of these abandoned objects illustrates her belief that people removed from their home countries, such as herself, "live with their bodies as their only real possession."
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.