In the beginning was… is a site-specific installation created from threads and stones from the Sorigué’s gravel pit, which are intertwined in a dense weave, visualized as a stellar constellation.
The title of the work is taken from the first line of the Gospel of St John and refers, on the one hand, to the origin of the universe: “I felt that there was a common realm between the universe inside me and the one outside, just as I felt that my body was the closest thing to the universe. Perhaps when people leave us, they dissolve into the universe,” says the artist.
And on the other hand, Shiota alludes to the origin of the Sorigué’s company, which involved extracting and processing sand and gravel: “When I first visited this gravel pit, what struck me most was the beautiful sound the stones made when they fell. With the stones, I also wanted to recall the beginnings of this company”.
Chiharu Shiota is known for her installations mainly using thread, through which she explores complex relationships between the body and the mind, the notions of ties that bind us, the threads that connect up, intertwine or cut each other. The intertwining generates a mixture of dreamlike repulsion and attraction, whilst it revives memory, the existence of a philosophic form and its absence.
Shiota seeks evasive sensations of emotion and memory by weaving everyday objects (clothing, musical instruments, furniture, letters and even a piano, an instrument that she played as a child) in intricate networks. By capturing them in this way, the artist creates atmospheric environments that inspire reflection on past things and meditation on future dreams.