I came across these images of three different Kusama exhibitions: Fireflies, Obliteration Room and Infinity Mirror Room. I was completely mesmerized and began to research.
The 82 year old Japanese artist who recently collaborated with Marc Jacobs, sold a piece of work in 2008 for $5.1 million (a record for a living female artist) and is a resident by choice for the past 35 years in a psychiatric care home in her native Tokyo, Kusama, creates these “infinite spaces” by lining rooms with wall-to-wall mirrors, a shallow pool of water covers the floor and hundreds of LED lights dangle from overhead, multiplying into thousands upon thousands in the infinite reflections.
The concept builds upon her love for dots and explores her hallucinatory approach to psychedelic space conception. According to her autobiography, Infinity Net, as a child, she experienced hallucinations, and nightmarish out of body experiences, which she subsequently attempted to describe in paranoid, vivid paintings alive with eyes and threatening organic forms. At the same age as she was seeing her visions, she was forced by her mother to spy on her father in bed with his string of mistresses and geishas. She developed a loathing of phallic images, and an overwhelming fascination with voyeurism. Her response to these disturbing, formative forces was a kind of self-obliteration, covering herself and everything around her with her trademark polka dots.
‘Fireflies on the Water’ is at The Whitney Museum until Sunday so if you’re in New York and haven’t been run don’t walk! And in the meantime I’m off to continue obsessing over Kusama.
Photos: Anthology and The Guardian