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Narcissus garden Inhotim

Yayoi Kusama2009

Inhotim

Inhotim
Brumadinho MG, Brazil

Narcissus Garden Inhotim (2009) is a new version of a key sculpture Yayoi Kusama originally presented in 1966 for her unofficial participation in the 33rd Venice Biennale. On that occasion, on the grass between the pavilions, Kusama clandestinely installed 1,500 mirrored globes, which she sold to passersby for US$ 2 each. The sign she posted among the spheres – reading “Your narcissism for sale” – was an ironic critique of the art world and its systems of repetition and merchandising. This intervention resulted in her expulsion from the event, to which she did not return until 1993, when she was Japan’s official representative. In the version created for Inhotim, 500 stainless steel spheres float on the reflecting pond at the Burle Marx Education Center, creating forms that are dispersed and condensed according to the wind and other external factors, while reflecting the landscape of sky, water and vegetation, as well as the image of the spectator him- or herself, thus creating, in the ar tist’s words, a “kinetic carpet.” One of the most important artists who emerged in Asia during the postwar years, in her production Yayoi Kusama establishes links to movements such as Minimalism, Pop art and Feminism. Her work is marked by her compulsive use of repetitive circular motifs, which refer to the hallucinations she began experiencing in her childhood and which she transposes to paintings, sculptures, installations, films and fabrics used in fashion designs. In recent years variations on Narcissus garden have been created for exhibitions in museums and public spaces, but the one at Inhotim is the first to appear in Brazil. Evoking the myth of Narcissus, who was enchanted by his own image reflected on the surface of the water, this work constructs a huge mirror composed of hundreds of small convex mirrors that distort, fragment and, above all, multiply the image of the person contemplating it — and therefore also necessarily contemplating him- or herself.

Details

  • Title: Narcissus garden Inhotim
  • Date Created: 2009
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Inhotim Collection, Brazil, Pedro Motta
  • Medium: Stainless steel
  • Multimedia artist: Yayoi Kusama

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