Revenants by Sahej Rahal was an interesting yet puzzling art installation inside an old warehouse. The artwork consisted of a large room with a few large pieces and a small room with what appeared to be hundreds of smaller ones. Overall I wasn’t impressed but this artwork seems to grow on me and the more I look at my photos the more I start to enjoy it.
When I came up to Revenants, I was overheated and in need of a rest. I was hoping for a relatively cool room and when I entered it wasn’t cool enough. The warehouse was nice but a bit dark and the lighting was really spooky. The main artworks were just several objects that had no real rhyme or reason. From what I heard, Sahej Rahal didn’t want to talk much about the artwork and wanted people to discover their own personal meaning. While I generally agree with that idea, I sometimes like a little background to understand the artist’ vision while creating my own impressions and ideas of what the objects are.
I arrived to Revenants with another person already looking at the artwork. I took some photos and waited for him to leave so that I could enjoy the artwork to myself. I really did enjoy the peace and quiet while I was alone but I really didn’t understand the artworks. I thought the mud on structure was an interesting play with design but I was ignorant to its meaning. It could also have been a problem with me suffering from heat exhaustion from a day of visiting art on what was the hottest day of the year.
Most of the people visiting Revenants probably missed the secondary room. The volunteers kept the main door open but I discovered a side room that was partially blocked by the open door to the main gallery. I entered and discovered a bunch of little figures made of mud. If you have seen the Oninoko Tile Project, you may have an idea of what the figures looked like. The figures in Revenants appeared to be nothing more than blobs of dried mud. It was interesting overall but unless you are a big fanatic over these types of art, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Revenants really didn’t speak to me at the time but as I review the photos over and over, I start to appreciate the artwork more and more. I really feel bad that I didn’t give it a good chance but sometimes that is how art is. You can either love or hate it but sometimes you can grow to appreciate it. Revenants is one such artwork that took time for me to appreciate it better.
Note: Revenants is no longer available on Shodoshima.