chiharu shiota

Japan’s contribution to the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is an exhibition by artist Chiharu Shiota entitled “The Key in the Hand”. Curated by Hitoshi Nakano, the Berlin-based Chiharu Shiota created a large-scale installation with the whole exhibition space filled with red yam. Attached to the end of each piece of yam, suspended from the ceiling, is a key. There are also two boats on the floor beneath the yam and the hanging keys.

Kurt Schwitters

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Image Credit: © Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau, 1924-37

Schwitters is very well known for his monumental Merzbau, a structure which was his own house. And so Kurt Schwitters picked refuse up off the ground and attempted to build a place in which he could live. Is this not the very task that faces modern society the vitality of which depends upon urban infrastructure and city planning?

“[E]verything had broken down in any case and new things had to be made out of the fragments: and this is Merz. It was like an image of the revolution within me, not as it was, but as it should have been.”
–Kurt Schwitters