Video projection

Red wool is a material used constantly in Kotoe Ishii’s work. Through knitting, sewing and tangling the red string tensely by hand, Kotoe personalises it as a part of her body.

In her video work, Spinning, a girl endlessly pulls a strand of red string from her mouth. The action is one of expulsion and discovery. As she pulls on the string, the girl draws out childhood memories and experiences trapped inside the body, exposing her true self and exorcising her past.

While this act appears childish, there are both sinister and sexual undertones to the performance. The red thread is representative of femininity; its extraction symbolic of the uniquely female acts of birth and menstruation. The calmness of the protagonist through this enigmatic action challenges traditional notions of femininity, replacing them with an uncanny speculation on identity and embodiment.


Kotoe Ishii

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