LOST WORDS - NIKOLAIKIRCHE

ART INSTALLATION BY ARTIST CHIHARU SHIOTA
BACKGROUND

The art installation LOST WORDS transformed the interior of Berlin's Nikolaikirche into a space of association and reflection. The piece weaves through the central nave of the church. It is a threaded mesh in which Bible pages float around the visitors of the space. The Bible pages were collected from Bible editions in different languages symbolising the global intertwining of the Reformation and the biblical message.

This room installation was commissioned in 2017 for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and is part of the five-year DEKALOG project of the Guardini Foundation and the St Matthew Foundation for the Reformation Jubilee 2017 in cooperation with the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin.

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPROACH

To capture the unique sensations that I felt visiting this space I decided to create panoramas at different heights, following the flow of the lines and getting closer or further away from the mesh of black thread. Capturing some closeup shots of the Bible pages was important and difficult to achieve given the concave form described by the web holding them. This is one of those situations where using a camera system that allows for the photography of the space below the camera becomes essential. Of course using a DSLR system also produces greater image fidelity and detail than an automated panorama photography system or a one shot 360 camera.

When the visitor walks through the art installation, the space first compresses and later expands towards the area where the altar used to be. On this area there is a finer, lighter mesh with no Bible pages and there I placed the camera precisely under a wing of an angel, inviting the viewer to look up once again and reflect on the exhibition.

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