Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Chiharu Shiota & Jitish Kallat at Haunch of Venison, London

by Suzanne on March 18th, 2010


The Astronomy of the Subway (detail) by Jitish Kallat, resin, steel, 2009

It's been another epic Art Thursday. I'm so happy that I don't have weekends, but Wednesdays and Thursdays off. This way, I get to see the best art in town with no-one around AND I get to go to SpitFields Antiques Market. Weeeeeeee!

I was thinking of maybe turning my Art Thursdays into little tours so that other art enthusiasts could join me, but alas, I have way too many ideas to improve this metropolis with a dose of Wurzelness already but too little time. Anyways, it's something to keep in mind... free WurzelArt® Thursdays. Yessir.

Anyways, after buying my yet tiniest doll at SpitFields, I headed off to the Gagosian, Alison Jacques Gallery and finally Haunch of Venison.


One Place (detail) by Chiharu Shiota, 400 windows (Eastside of Berlin), 2010

I would like to selfishly take this opportunity to manifest once and for all that I absolutely hate going to the Gagosian because of its ridiculous subliminal haute couture dress code and 3 security guards per room. Yes, I do look like a tramp, Larry, my dear, but I do admire your collection greatly and for one believe that interchangeable noir designer fashion has absolutely NADA to do with great art, so why don't you GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK and stop treating me like a terrorist for once just because I don't wear YSL and actually have a brain where your vacuous employees have a bottomless perfume reservoir. The reason why I get close up with your art is because I need to figure out how things are MADE! I'm analytic and thorough like that. SRSLY, your place is beginning to piss me off epically and I don't need a guy to open the door for me. It's retarded very passé.

Anyways, more about the actual show later. There were two of my favourite Bellmers, so yes, it was rather sweet.

Kudos to Alison Jacques for handing out free exhibition posters. These things always make me come back. I'm a sucker for freebies. Particularly if it's a depiction of a skeleton and a naked woman. Yay! More about their Ana Mendieta exhibition later too.


During Sleep by Chiharu Shiota, black wool, bed, 2010

So on to the best show of the day which was Chiharu Shiota at Haunch of Venison who exhibited alongside Jitish Kallat (top picture).

I missed her twice and was overjoyed to make it this time. And I wasn't disappointed.

HoV's vast, kafkaesque rooms were completely empty so I found myself very small and exposed standing in the middle of During Sleep (see above).

There's a lot of bullshit labelled as "existentialist art", but this is the real deal. Shiota's installations change your heartbeat, remind you of long forgotten childhood incidences in the forest and stop your breath. This was the most dreamlike, most fragile, most painful, most saddening exhibition I've ever seen. You stumble through During Sleep and you come out different in space and time and experience.

I remember Stéphane Blanquet doing something very similar to my psyche with his bedroom installation Beautycity at Fumetto 07 (my article in German) and most recently Alice Anderson with her Alice in Wonderland hair claustrophobica at Riflemaker (more later!), but Shiota reached deeper, maybe because my dream bedrooms are very similar to hers and I often dream about being very small and caught up in a ball of yarn and growing ever smaller and smaller and rooms expanding like lungs around me, forever inhaling.

So there I was, standing in my very own dream, 5 minutes from Piccadilly Circus at 2 PM.


Trauma / Alltag (dress) by Chiharu Shiota, steel frame, wool thread, plaster paint, dress, 2009

I love this city.

And I love my signed and numbered edition of Insecticides by Mat Collishaw for £25. Yay!

On show: February 19 - March 27, 2010

Address: Haunch of Venison, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3ET, UK, tel: +44(0)20 7495 5050 | Map

Gallery hours: Mon - Fri: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sat: 10 AM - 5 PM

Admission: Free

Featured artists: Chiharu Shiota & Jitish Kallat

Online preview

by suzanne_tumblr on March 18th, 2010

Annexation (detail) by Jitish Kallat, painted black lead and steel, 2009 - on show at Haunch of Venison’s East Galleries, London, until March 27

by suzanne_tumblr on March 18th, 2010

The Astronomy of the Subway (detail) by Jitish Kallat, resin, steel, 2009 - on show at Haunch of Venison’s East Galleries, London, until March 27