Kusama at Tate Modern – Wonderland despite the faded white turds

Infinity Mirrored Room I spent a few hours at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern this afternoon. The area just south of Tate modern seems to be an area in transition. In some ways it is very old London yet there are massive apartments blocks going up. Not many people about so presumably none of them are sold yet.

Inside Tate Modern it was the usual story of queuing for the ticket then queueing for the exhibition to be let in at a given time then trying to get past the people who think they have to queue for every exhibit. I recall prior to Tate Modern, if one wanted to see some modern art, one was forced to visit The Tate (now Tate Britain) and endure a lot of dusty old fashioned art first. To be honest all art can be good and bad and I can well remember being extremely impressed when I discovered a futurist sculpture created in 1913 named ‘Unique Forms Of Continuity In Space’ by Umberto Boccioni.

These days the art establishment like to claim that they are brining art to the masses but I think they may merely have succumbed to the obsession with profit which seems to have driven the start of the 21st century. I’m not sure that having Anne Robinson ask “Name a modern art museum in London” on The Weakest Link counts as art appreciation and justifies the congestion. …however, I digress……

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who lives in a mental institution so it says here. The first exhibits I found fairly mundane and was soon presented with what appeared to be painting from the Bollocks school of art. i.e. Since anything can be art, therefore any old bollocks I create must also be art. Monochrome canvasses with squiggles and texturing. I began to feel a little cynical. Chairs and shoes filled with what appeared to be large white turds. Thank you Ms. Kusama, we’ll be in touch.


However, things livened up a bit and the dark room with the white boat full of turds was quite striking. Later the punters were paying great attention to a video with a large sign stating that there were scenes of an “explicit nature”. So many people were paying so much attention that I never did get into that room.

I entered another dark room decorated somewhat like an ordinary living dining room with chairs and a table laid for dinner. The only light in the room came from Ultra Violet strip lights around the ceiling. What made the room impressive was thousands of dots of primary colour dabbed all the over the floors, walls, ceilings and objects. Sounds daft but I felt like I had entered an Alice in Wonderland novel. Following swift on the heals of this was another room full of coloured lights and mirrors which was also very impressive and by the time I was presented with her latest large vitally colourful paintings I had become a Kusama fan.

Obliteration Room
Obliteration Room

The Kusama exhibition runs to the 5th June 2012 and tickets are £10 with a request for a £1 donation to charity. Worth a visit.

Buy Art Photography by Nigel Chaloner
Buy Art Photography by Nigel Chaloner

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