October 29, 2013
"Trace of Memory" — Chiharu Shiota
Presented as the inaugural show for the Mattress Factory’s newest gallery space — a renovated 19th-century row house — the immersive installation responds to the raw conditions of the former residence, building an aesthetic relationship with cosmetic interior details like exposed brick and worn floor boards.
By using seemingly infinite amounts of black thread, the walls, halls, and floor are completely wrapped in an intricate labyrinth.
The site-specific installation commands the entire space, enveloping structural elements like desks, chairs, and suitcases in the multi-room-sized webbed environment.
Filling up eight rooms of the house-turned-art-space, Shiota’s engaging sculpture leads visitors on an almost hypnotic journey throughout the building, visually guiding them through the eerie, string-engulfed maze.
The exhibit will be up at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh through May 31, 2014.
Seeing as I will be in Pittsburgh at least twice between now and then (once for Thanksgiving and in early May of next year for the half-marathon) I'm going to do my very best to visit.
Most likely not by myself, as creepy stuff gives me nightmares: I haven't seen a scary movie since "The Exorcist" came out in 1973.
I had nightmares for a week after I saw that movie and in fact was so spooked I had real difficulty taking a shower for some time, fearing the worst was about to emerge from behind the curtain.
October 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink
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Well, truth be told, actual spider webs will have to do for me. (In rooms not often accessed, they are white and look like what I call "spider lace") As an aside, 'The Exorcist' is on my list of movies I've never seen, nor will ever see; too creepy. :-)
Posted by: Lorelei | Oct 31, 2013 1:09:17 AM
I absolutely love this, and amazingly enough I don't find it creepy, but comforting. Probably 60% of my dreams involve rooms in huge houses, and they always have a blurred, mossy look to them, very much like the strings create in this exhibition. Kind of like looking at ancient, flaked postcards.
The Exorcist, both book and movie (you'd think I'd have known better...) scared the living shit out of me - I slept with all lights in my room on for a month. About two weeks into that time, I realized that I had long ago put a largeish board under my side of the mattress to help with back support, and one night in a wild fit of memory, I jumped out and pulled the thing out from under the mattress and, yes, it was a great big old-timey Ouija Board. I freaked and whipped and screamed around the house for an hour, at least. Then, a couple weeks later, I heard Richard Pryor's brilliant 'Exorcist' routine, and that canceled out all the scary.
Posted by: Flautist | Oct 30, 2013 4:44:19 AM
Cure my Atheism,
well if that ain't a righteous goal!
And counting on Hollywood to make it right,
don't that take the cake?
Posted by: Joe Peach | Oct 29, 2013 5:22:43 PM
Allegorical on so many levels..
Posted by: Marianne | Oct 29, 2013 4:15:49 PM
I'm not a fan of the horror genre but I did see "The Exorcist" (to my great chagrin, my attendance was fostered by "born again" acquaintances who guaranteed the film would cure my Atheism - the only good thing to come from that experience was exposure to Mike Oldfield's soundtrack) ; I didn't find the show anywhere nearly as terrifying as "The Killing Fields".
As for my personal experience with movie terror, the reveal of Harry's survival and appearance looking through the windshield in " Harry and the Hendersons" elicited a scream from me and many laughs from my prepubescent son in that movie theater experience.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Oct 29, 2013 2:14:05 PM
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