segunda-feira, 7 de setembro de 2009

we are all dots.

“I, Kusama, am the modern Alice in Wonderland.”
(at the press release of the "Alice in Wonderland happening",1968)

Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 in Matsumoto City, Japan. She is best known as a plastic artist, although she has written several books, designed fashion, and made a film ('Self-Obliteration'). Despite having had a heavy influence of Andy Warhol and many other New York artists of the time, she remained relatively unknown. She was born into a reasonably wealthy family, driven and governed by her strict mother, who wanted her daughter to be raised in a traditional way. The constant pressure and rejection by her mother may have triggered her illness. At the age of ten Kusama's mental illness became apparent when she began to see visions of proliferating patterns made up of dots, nets and other shapes. These hallucinations were extremely frightening, as they threatened to dissolve her self into the patterns she had been seeing.
"One day I was looking at the red flower patterns of the tablecloth on a table, and when I looked up I saw the same pattern covering the ceiling, the windows and the walls, and finally all over the room."
Whether by accident or not, Kusama discovered that through drawing and painting these experiences, she was able to gain some kind of control over them. Her mother did not share this view and violently reacted to Kusama's attempts to spend her time on art, subjecting her to torrents of physical and mental abuse.

Over the years Kusama's work progressed onto photography and performance art. In 1967 she staged 'Body Festivals' and 'Anatomic Explosions'. These basically involved naked people and having polka dots painted on them until the police inevitably turned up. Numerous happening against the war involving naked people and public orgies followed. In the early 70s Kusama returned to Japan. She now lives in a mental institution and has her own private studio to create work.

Themes and motivations:

Kusama calls herself an "obsessional artist". Self-obsession permeates throughout Kusama's artwork as it all relates to her own attempts to come to terms with her psychological and mental condition. Her representation of phalluses depicts her fear of obsessive sexual motifs. Infinte repetitions (infinity nets), patterns and ubiquitous polka dots are her favourite motifs, which she explores through painting, collage, light installations and other forms.

"A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colourful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots can't stay alone; like the communicative life of people, two or three polka-dots become movement... Polka-dots are a way to infinity."

Her work became increasingly dematerialized and less obsessive-compulsive throughout her life, which attests the fact that she managed to use art as a form therapy for herself.

"Every time I have had a problem, I have confronted it with the ax of art."

check out this collection of dots

4 comentários:

ecila disse...

We are all dots :-) Sem dúvida!

ecila disse...

Or maybe we are all dots made of stars (taking into consideration Moby's theory)

jellyfish disse...

hahaha! maybe! i like her theory about dots being connected and creating the illusion of movement and her dot theory concerning sticking dot onto other dots thus achieving infinity.

i love her originality, her openness regarding her illness, her strong will and her continuity in her work. i also love the idea of art as a means of liberation, art as therapy, not to cure, but to learn to deal with hallucinations.

jellyfish disse...

check out the link i posted at the very end: teh collection of dots. lovely!