Art pick of the week: INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER
Every week we’re sharing one of our favourite artworks for you to see on your next visit to the AGO. Check out this week’s art pick, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER by Yayoi Kusama.
Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, LED lighting system, monofilament, stainless steel balls, and carpet, 123 x 246 x 245 1/4 inches/312.4 x 624.8 x 622.9 cm. © YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice. Photography by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio
Purchased with funds from the David Yule & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Michelle Koerner & Kevin Doyle, Robert Dorrance & Gail Drummond, The Schulich Foundation, Soichiro & Junko Yamamoto, Diane Bald & Michael Budman, Don & Denyse Green, DH Gales Foundation, Maxine Granovsky Gluskin & Ira Gluskin, Barry Appleton & Magaly Bianchini, Emmanuelle Gattuso, Sheryle & David Saunders, Robin & David Young, Laura E. Baldini, Diana Billes, Edison Chai, Julian Chan & Yi Hyun Park, The Francis and Denise Connolly Family, Creeds, Eileen Farrow, Ivan Fecan & Sandra Faire, Hallisey Family, Victoria Jackman, Val Koziol, David Kozman & Kristin Blakely-Kozman, The Charles & Jane Kucey Foundation Fund, Jämes Lee & the Julie Institute, Chelsea Longaphy & Bernie Li, Martha LA McCain, Carolyn D. Mullin, Samuel & Alice Peralta, In Memory of Pierrette & Abel Rancourt, Heather & Aaron Regent, Shevlen Family, Mary Sinclair, Jay Smith & Laura Rapp, J. Kenneth & Margaret Syer-Torrance, and the generosity of thousands of art lovers, 2018
Who could forget our wildly popular spring 2018 exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors? We can’t! Following the momentous outpouring of love shown for Kusama’s spectacular work, we launched #InfinityAGO, a crowdfunding campaign that saw more than 4,700 generous donors contribute to give year-round access to this week’s art pick: INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER.
After booking a viewing time upon your arrival at the AGO, you and your party get to experience this mirrored chamber of endless reflections. Small stainless steel orbs—which also act as mirrors—fill the room, whimsically hanging from the ceiling as well as covering the peripheral part of the floor. LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER’s centrepiece, however, is you, reflected in the large rectangular mirror box in the middle of the installation. Viewing this box in relation to the perimeter of the space is what allows for the type of other-worldly, infinite experiences Kusama’s installation are famous for.
Yayoi Kusama has had an interesting and diverse career over the past six decades. Born in Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan in 1929, Kusama first studied traditional Japanese painting before relocating to New York City around the age of 30. Active at the same time as Pop Art icons Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, she is considered to be a staple in the avant-garde art movement of 1960s New York. Developing work through new mediums like sculpture and performance art, Kusama’s fame grew as she became more bold and political in her approach –staging large scale anti-war happenings and building polka dot-covered phallic objects. In 1966, her first ever infinity room (Infinity Mirror Room: Phalli’s Field) was created.
Since then her work with mirrors and reflection has focused primarily on the idea of self-obliteration. LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER uses the infinite reflection of the subject (the viewer) and the motif of polka dots to visually allow the self to disappear in the eternal abyss. The clever irony of this concept in our modern, social media era of selfies might be Kusama’s most important contribution yet.
Stay tuned for next week’s Art Pick.
Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under. For more information, please visit the website.
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