Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the Tate Modern again for Yayoi Kusama’s extended exhibition – Infinity Mirror Rooms. Say what you want about modern art, when it hits, it really hits. While I could wax lyrical about some of the other exhibits in the museum, which may or may not be to my taste, this is my blog and therefore just my stupid and humble opinion on the experience.
I made the devilish effort of becoming a Tate Member. This entitles me not just to free entry to paid exhibits but also means I can pomp and swan about in the Members Bar, where Crispin and Coriander chase around after little Tarquin and Verity, desperately trying to get them to sit and enjoy their lapsang souchong without making quite such a scene. It’s the opposite of the Mos Eisley cantina essentially – a wretched hive of patterned scarves and plum voices where I feel like Bert from Mary Poppins.
Yayoi Kusama is an incredible artist who works vibrant colours and shapes into sculptures and installations. It’s hard to imagine what that journey would have been like – moving to New York as a young woman to follow her passion in a time when such a thing was considered uncouth. She’s still rocking by the way – at 94 years of age.
The Infinity Mirror Rooms are an influencer’s wet dream – although imagining this was ever the intention is so far away from the titles for both rooms. Visitors queue for their two and a half minutes of Insta fame before being allowed in grouped in sixes to attempt a single shot where it looks as if they are the centre of the universe and there isn’t a pram in the space with them. Yes, I realise the irony of this entry and my own accompanying social media posts about it. Maybe I’m doing it with a cheeky sense of irony which is why I only got twenty likes.
To stand and stare at the blinking lights, to see your own suitcase-eyed reflection staring back at you in the centre of the artist’s work is to understand the impact that it can make. Imagine floating along in the cosmos, like Gravity (2013), but never mind the Bullock. Being inside those spaces slows the heart while it triples in size. It’s a maddening experience yet a serene one. A moment of collection and an opportunity to reflect. No two experiences will ever be the same but if you can grip the hand of someone you love then it will emanate through your entire being.
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