Yayoi Kusama at Gropius Bau

We took the day off work today to go to see the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at Gropius Bau. It seems like she has become increasingly popular in the age of social media, probably because so many of her artworks are very well suited to posing in front off.

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A lot of the art talk in this exhibitions program talks about Kusama feeling a sort of disintegration between herself and her work, and wanting her viewers to feel the same way. I was certainly very impressed by the infinity rooms, which are enclosed mirrored rooms, generally filled with strange objects. They give the sense of being trapped in a glassy infinity, with nothing but yourself and some stuffed pumpkins. And if you could spend a long time in one of these spaces, I think it would easy to start feeling yourself part of artwork. Being a modern person, after I wandered around one of these rooms for a bit, I felt like I should take out my phone and capture a photo, I'm not really sure why. I guess to share with my family?

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As soon as I did, I realised that I'd ruined the experience for myself. I was no longer just being in the space, and was instead focused on how to make it appear good. Through the phone screen nothing really looked very good, and I think that a fully mirrored room may be fundamentally unphotographable. Once I had taken a photo it felt like I was done with the room and should just move on.

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There is a strange tension in this exhibition. On the one hand, it seems like it exists because it it provides lots of potential social media fodder. At the same time the exhibition made me feel engrossed in some beautiful spaces, which can't really be photographed, and which were ruined for me by trying to photograph.

There were a lot of paintings presented along side the more abstract pieces, here are some nice details that I captured.

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