Yayoi Kusama’s current exhibition Give Me Love at the David Zwirner Gallery is a visual trip: pumpkin sculptures are covered in polka dots; large paintings titled My Eternal Soul depict hallucinogenic-like fractals; an all-white living room called the obliteration room is pasted over with colorful circles. The current exhibition is Kusama’s second with Zwirner, the first being her widely acclaimed Infinity Room (2013) which was thousands of light projections in a room of mirrors.
Each medium Kusama uses—sculpture, canvas, installation—strikes a perfect balance between chaos and minimalism. Kusama’s well-known dots were made larger and pasted onto pumpkins; the silvery material of the sculptures project back the gallery and its abundance of empty space. Her paintings are full of vibrant detail but remain geometric—ordered chaos destabilizes boundaries between stability and psychosis. the obliteration room is perhaps the most interesting section of the exhibit. The installation is an average American suburban house, painted all white. Visitors are given sticker dots that they are to place anywhere in the room, making the installation also a performance piece. The room is a visual depiction of entropy, one that viewers eagerly perpetuate. Kusama’s dots are not just symbolic of hallucinations she experienced in her youth, but reflect the desire to be unalienated, expressed through the placement of one’s individual dot in a sea of other dots: to be a crowd is to dissolve the boundaries and borders of the self; the self undergoes transcendence in a crowd and becomes unalienable insofar that the group exits.
In this age of constant imaging, viewers have documented nearly every corner of the installation. When death becomes an image, we are severed from it. The internet is the ultimate fracturing of the self. the obliteration room becomes oddly apocalyptic. Dying in a crowd allows for a less lonely death, and fulfills the desire to be unalienated. Kusama allows viewers to recover a less alienated state through the advancement of collective obliteration.
Yayoi Kusama: Give Me Love is on view through June 13th, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery 519 & 525 W 19th St, New York, NY.