tatjna (tatjna) wrote,


Yesterday a group of us went to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the City Gallery. If you haven't heard of her, she's a Japanese artist whose work spans the surrealist/abstract expressionist genre, who lives by choice in a mental institution and is obsessed with polka dots. I was really looking forward to this - I love the way she uses bright!shiny!colours! and randomness! and large structures and installations alongside two dimensional works.

The City Gallery's been covered in brightly coloured spots in her honour, which is funky. And, inside, Kusama didn't disappoint. Unfortunately, the gallery setting did. There was all this wonderful stuff all over the place, Kusama's vision of the world made three-dimensional (i particularly liked the stuff based around multiple reflection) - and there we were, hands behind backs, walking amongst it talking in hushed tones, surrounded by signs saying "Don't touch" and assistants watching us to make sure we didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why. But as a burner, I've become accustomed to art that's made to be interacted with by people and the environment, and it doesn't matter if it gets broken because that's part of the process of interactivity. So just looking at all this wonderful art felt like a deprivation of the senses. I didn't experience it, I saw it - and I found the frustration of being separated from such a lush experience detracted from my enjoyment of the art*. And the little signs telling us how we were supposed to feel when just looking at something that seems it ought to be touched, just came across as missing the point.

That having been said, this is simply my experience. I'm a very kinaesthetic person - others have been overwhelmed simply by being in one of the rooms. So, I suggest you go see for yourself (it's free on Wednesdays) - as I said, the art is amazing.

* If one were wanky enough, one could say that that sense of separation is exactly what the artist was going for, to give punters a feeling for her own experience of the world. But she claims to be the modern Alice in Wonderland - and in Wonderland, Alice ate the cake and played flamingo croquet. She didn't walk around with her hands behind her back making comment on what she was seeing, without communicating with any of the other characters.

I was going to put some stuff in here about the objectification of men as part of strip shows, but my boss just resigned and I'm feeling kind of distracted. It's been a four year working relationship in which mutual respect has only increased. She's a good boss and as close to a friend as a colleague can be for me. My OCD is screaming and covering its ears going "NONONONO!". My rational adult is happy for her and also remembering the last manager who resigned and how I was without one for 6 months, the rest of me is going *...*
Tags: burner privilege, its aht dahling, looky no touchy, work
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.