Timeless Kusama's Infinity Mirrors Generate Awe, Tweets in Cleveland

By Thomas, M. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

Timeless Kusama's Infinity Mirrors Generate Awe, Tweets in Cleveland


Thomas, M., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


CLEVELAND - If ever there were an exhibition suited for social media and selfies, it's "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors." But don't worry, there's much to enjoy even if you don't pack a smartphone.

The lure that has drawn sold-out crowds to Cleveland since its opening July 7 is the concentration of six of Ms. Kusama's signature Infinity Mirror Rooms. A seventh has been added at Cleveland Museum of Art, the closest the show will come to Pittsburgh. It closes Sept. 30.

Visitors enter enclosed, sometimes darkened, rooms where they are surrounded by mirrors. Once the door shuts behind them, various permutations of light and image repeat in seeming endless space, an illusive wonderland of altered perspective and physical volume.

One room sports rows of black and gold pumpkins, another hot pink spheres studded with polka dots -both recurring Kusama motifs. In "The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away," hundreds of LED lights fill the air like a profusion of fireflies gently shimmering in a black velvet night.

Peering into "Love Forever," which can be viewed only from the outside, visitors see their reflection in a frame hovering over a brightly colored landscape.

The bonus mirror room at Cleveland, "Where the Lights in My Heart Go," was made possible by the soaring atrium added during a recent museum expansion. The work is illuminated by ambient light and has to be exhibited in a protected place exposed to daylight.

Museum staff stationed at each mirror room restrict access to two or three visitors at a time. Purses and other carried items must be left in a container with the exception of smartphones. Tweeting is encouraged.

Time in each room is limited to 20-30 seconds, which the museum says is the artist's intent. "The rooms are designed by the artist to be brief immersive experiences," the exhibition website states.

The wait to enter is considerably longer, 20 minutes, and stanchions have been set up in anticipation. Visitors with disabilities will be offered front-of-line access.

Lines have been a criticism of the traveling show, and the museum consulted with other venues to facilitate visitors' experience, a Cleveland spokesperson said. Timed admission is designed to eliminate long lines outside the museum. Tickets will not be sold at the museum and are available only by phone or online beginning at 9 a.m. Mondays and lasting until that week's allocations are sold out (www.clevelandart.org or 1-216-421-7350). Phone sales will have longer wait times.

Tickets are $30, $15 for ages 6-17, and free for children 5 and under (limit two children up to age 17 per adult ticket). There is a limit of six tickets per transaction. …

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