For several years, the Osaka-born, Berlin-based artist Chiharu Shiota visited demolition sites and deserted buildings every day collecting old glass windows and frames from dismantled and abandoned East Berlin buildings. The worn windows and chipped wooden frames – relics of the city’s communist era past – are woven into each other and stacked to the ceiling, creating a hollow spiritual dome ingrained with the memories of its past inhabitants. “When I look at disregarded windows at a construction site, I imagine the life of those people who looked from East Berlin over to the life of the people in West Berlin. What might they have felt then?” Shiota has asked. Those voices might be long gone, but the salvaged frames are now re-imagined as eternal windows to the soul of its past inhabitants.
Chiharu Shiota’s window installation, exhibited in the US for the first time, will take place May 17 through June 16 at Haunch of Venison Gallery New York.
Photo Caption: Chiharu Shiota, A Room of Memory, found windows, 2009.