Would you wait in a queue for 8 hours to take the perfect “selfie”?
Infinity Mirrors, lining every inch from floor to ceiling with delicately lit, flickering LED bulbs; the souls of a million light-years away, so it would seem.
Yayoi Kusama’s recent exhibition, “I Who have Arrived in Heaven”, shown at New York’s David Zwirner Gallery allowed viewer’s to go in one at a time to capture this magical moment, gaining 2,586 hashtags for #DavidZwirner on Instagram, 1,045 for #DavidZwirnerGallery, and 1,354 for #IHaveArrivedinHeaven.
The on-off strobe effects of the bulbs create numerous repetitive patterns and reflections, suggesting endlessness and ultimately invoke concepts of life and death. She has stimulated a very contemporary set of nerve endings and her recent work dovetails with a surge in artwork designed to propel viewers into an out-of-body experience. The exhibition’s title, I Who Have Arrived in Heaven, aims to reflect the artist’s long-standing interest in cosmic realms, while at the same time presenting a link to her multi-talented past in artistic production, spanning from performance and architecture, to fashion and design.
The exhibition also includes three rooms dedicated to 27 of her minimalistic, pop art paintings, alluding to universal spheres, or basic life forms that highlight her unique amalgamation of representational and non-representational subject matter. These canvases seem to build on everything she has made or seen, including a wild panoply of world cultures. European peasant art, African art and children’s art are just some of the precedents their packed surfaces evoke. Looking at the vibrant swirls and strokes it’s as though Kusama is giving us an insight to her mind, I can’t help but think of Jung’s collective unconscious theory and Jackson Pollock’s work, but also of an artist working at full tilt, using an immense image bank, overflowing with memories and thrills.