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Cobwebbed: eerie installation art by Chiharu Shiota

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  September 5, 2013 11:30 AM

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Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota creates gripping installations that play off of the intrinsic spookiness of cobwebs. Shiota takes objects-wooden chairs, hospital beds, musical instruments, a woman’s dress-and shrouds them in a thick, dark web of thread. Her art, which she's been producing for more than a decade, and which is currently on display at the Museum of Art, Kochi, in Japan, emphasizes how the accretion of cobwebs marks time. It makes you wonder: Who sat here last before the first strand was spun? It also nicely realizes the metaphorical way we talk about cobwebs clouding memories. What did the front door look like on the house where you grew up? The picture you produce is likely to appear as obscured as the white dress in the image below.

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Images via Flickr, courtesy of See-ming Lee, Lux & Jourik, and Jesus Encinar.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

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Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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