Yayoi Kusama, installation view of The Obliteration Room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Furniture, white paint, dot stickers. Dimensions variable. The Obliteration Room (2002 to present) first commissioned by Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery. © Yayoi Kusama. Photos by AGO Image Resources; video by AGO Media Productions.
It feels like it just arrived in Toronto, but Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors has now been open to the public for over a month. And every person who has come through the exhibition has left their mark in The Obliteration Room.
Kusama is known for her obsession with dots. Conceived by the artist, The Obliteration Room offers an invitation for visitors to collectively participate in “obliterating” an environment by covering it in colourful dots. The room recreates a domestic setting – the AGO’s set-up is complete with couch, dining room table and cutlery, bookshelves, a computer, bowls of fruit, and an outdoor area with Muskoka chairs, a fire pit, and a bicycle. Before the exhibition opened, all of these objects were painted white to make the eventual transformation even more remarkable. Visitors leaving the exhibition are invited to place brightly coloured polka dot stickers anywhere they choose in the room.
It’s a tough but fun choice: where exactly to place those stickers? On the wall, on a chair, on a bicycle, a table? In five weeks, The Obliteration Room has completely transformed from a blank canvas to a colour explosion, and we captured it all on camera. Watch the time-lapse video above and see a few before-and-after shots of the room below.
And this is just the start. We’ll keep filming the room to see how it changes over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Want to leave your mark on The Obliteration Room? A limited number of same-day rush tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors are available every morning at 10 am, in person at the AGO box office.
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