Speed Art Museum presents Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Room LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER
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Speed Art Museum presents Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Room LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER
©YAYOI KUSAMA. INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, 2017. Courtesy of the artist, David Zwirner, Ota Fine Arts, and Victoria Miro. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

LOUISVILLE, KY.- On July 12, the Speed Art Museum will present Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrored Room – LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER. This installation marks the first time an “Infinity Room” has been presented in Kentucky.

INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM — LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER (2017), which is on special loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario, envelops visitors inside a large, kaleidoscopic space with mirrored spheres suspended from the ceiling and arranged on the floor. The reflective spheres recall one of Kusama’s innovative early artworks, Narcissus Garden, which was first shown at the 1966 Venice Biennale.

LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER is a 90-second “immersive experience” where visitors can contemplate the meaning of “infinity” through an illusory mirrored space that encourages introspection and optical play. Up to four visitors may be inside the space at a time, and the Museum will accommodate school groups and group tours through prearranged time blocks during the run of the installation.

The presentation runs through Jan. 12, 2025.

Many consider Kusama one of the most important and well-known living artists in the world today. “It’s not every day that a museum will have an artwork like this on display,” said Director Raphaela Platow. “This is one of only a few recent presentations of Kusama’s work anywhere in the South, providing our community with a firsthand opportunity to experience and engage with a pioneering and historically significant work of immersive art.” she said. “It is truly something to behold, and offers an opportunity for self-inquiry and catharsis, both individual and collective.”

Born in 1929 in Tokyo, this installation is an example of one of Kusama’s seminal artworks that explores ideas of immersion and “self-obliteration” through repetition and play with space, light, color, and time. An icon of global contemporary art, Yayoi Kusama has eclipsed art historical categorization even as her multifaceted practice has found kinship over the decades with movements such as Minimalism, Pop Art and Surrealism.

“It’s thrilling to host one of Kusama’s signature, immersive ‘Infinity Rooms.’ The artist, who recently turned 95, has become a true icon of contemporary culture through not only her artworks and performances but also her collaborations with fashion houses, design brands and so much more,” said Tyler Blackwell, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed.

“Over the decades, Kusama became a unique, transgressive trailblazer for women as a female artist in a male-dominated art world. Now, here in Kentucky for the first time, we can all enter her imagination simply by walking into her mirrored artwork,” said Blackwell.

Infinity Lab at the Speed

The Speed Art Museum’s Learning, Engagement and Belonging Team, along with Louisville-based Rockerbuilt Studio, created an “Infinity Lab” to accompany Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrored Room– LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER. In the equally immersive Infinity Lab, guests will continue their experience by engaging with reflective materials to tap into their own creativity, explore ideas of “infinity” and illusion, and build a community-created, evolving installation.

“It's very open-ended,” said Karen Gillenwater, Speed’s Director of Learning, Engagement and Belonging. “Guests can create a sculpture out of foil then select a spot in the lab to display it, or they can help cover furniture and other objects in the lounge with reflective materials, then hang out and enjoy the space.” “We’ve intentionally made it very inviting and family friendly,” she said.

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