Monday, January 13, 2014

Yayoi Kusama's I Who Have Arrived In Heaven (or the "Impossibility Room") @ David Zwirner

I tried. Four times. Four times. To see Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrored Room" at David Zwirner Gallery. It was one part of her show "I Who Have Arrived in Heaven." I apparently never came early enough or waited long enough (3 hours was my maximum) online to get into that little slice of heaven. Instead, I experienced a tiny sliver of hell, standing on what felt like non-moving, infinite queues. It was like being in Vladimir Sorokin's novel, but without the charmingly bizarre conversations. 

Except that I nearly got in one time, on the day captured in the photographs below, making my way first directly to the paintings, for which there was no line whatsoever, and slipping ungracefully into the area where a line had curved around itself like an ourobouros, taking my place at the end of it, until a docent and one of the gallery's staff spotted me like a brown bear in a snowy field, and told me that I had to leave. Two young men in front of me had also sneaked in and were told to skedaddle. They split, verbalizing their upset. 

I went back to looking at the paintings, which, though very interesting, were nowhere near as enthralling as the brief glimpse I got of the "Infinity Mirrored Room"--an "Impossibility Room" given the lines, the peeved Zwirner staff, the near maelstrom that filled W. 17th Street one of the days I showed up, as there were not enough cordons or staff to order the lines, and a young woman strode out into the street and began screaming at all of us to go home, to leave, that we would not see the "Infinity Room" today, no possibility, an impossibility, which simply made the people around me ask each other--or me, or the air--if she had lost her mind, because she was offering no other information, she would not even answer questions, as an evidently perturbed young man later did (everyone under 40 is "young" to me now), telling us about the screw-up with the cordons, sawhorses, whatever was meant to keep order. No, she approached, screamed, never letting go of her coffee cup, screamed some more, "You might as well go home because you will not get in," and then disappeared back into the gallery. Maybe she vanished into the "Infinity Mirrored Room." It was like an unannounced performance, but it was not the "Infinity Mirrored Room," so neither I nor many others standing around me budged. At least for another half-hour.

So, the paintings. I'll say only that they were consolation of a sort. But I hope--want, demand--that David Zwirner or someone bring that damned "Infinity Mirrored Room" back. Charge for it. Charge a premium--well, not more than $25, or else it'll be a plaything of the elites, as so much in New York has become. And run it for as long as you can make money. Because you will make money, a lot of it. Or invite someone affiliated with Kusama do so. There are warehouses in Jersey City she could rent. You could make a lot of money. Even Christian Marclay's The Clock, with its limited entrance protocols, appeared in different, staggered editions. Let's do so with that "Infinity Mirrored Room." Maybe I should write a letter to the mayor. Of Jersey City, and New York. That glimpse was bliss. We need more.

The line, wrapping down 10th Ave.,
to see the Yayoi Kusama
"Infinity Room"
The monstrous line (which
punched out into the street)
And now some of Kusama's paintings. I admit, it's really trifling not to have written down the names of paintings, their dates, anything. This feels more like a Tumblr post than a Blogger one. But I was in a state of petulance and having yet again not gotten into that "Infinity Room," so please cut me some slack. The paintings, all in acrylic, all in vibrant colors (a few were more muted and emphasized negative space and color), all with vivid brushwork, all with titles suggesting playful profundity, were BEAUTIFUL, though, and to my untrained eye reminded me a bit of Australian Aboriginal art.

Update: Okay, in my annoyance and laziness when beginning this blog post I did not initially glance at Zwirner's site, which shows images and names for all of the pictures I photographed.

Searching for Love, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
My Heart Soaring in the Sunset, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
All the Love Overflowing, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
Dance Party Night, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
A detail from Dance Party Night
Pensive Night, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
Morning Has Come, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
Green Solitude, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
A Woman with Pink Hair, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
Praying for Peace in the World, 2013, Acrylic on canvas
Brilliance of Life, 2013, and
Standing at the Flower Bed, 2013,
both acrylic on canvas

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