One polka dot in millions...
I could never imagine that polka dots contained so much, or rather, that they make up so much of what we experience. And I am a huge polka dot fan, since like forever, but seeing Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit changed my head and the way I see those tiny things now.
Kusama's work is a very accurate, yet poetic, understanding of our universe, but it also shows obsession. The museum was showing 33 minutes of Kusama's films where you can see her polka dotting everything and everyone. It seemed more of a compulsion, a necessity to see dots everywhere, to put them in their particular place.
How does the mind of someone like her work? She managed to rebuilt my sense of wonder, of believing that one small piece, a dot, nevertheless, can contain multitudes and can make up so much of what we see and feel.
After many weeks of trying to get a free pass, I had the fortune to win tickets for the Kusama After Party at the Hirshhorn (one of the best art spaces in the US). To win, I had to answer a question, ‘Which was my favorite Yayoi Kusama work and why? My answer was simple, it was the Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (see next photo).
Now, if you look for the definition of oblitarate, it is to remove from recognition or memory, but my answer had more to do with the eternity portion of the name, because if there is an eternity, something beyond whatever we can imagine, it's represented in that room. How hundreds of tiny lights, dots that are lost in our mind, our universe, become so much. Eternity exploding and then there is just light, after light, after light. After life. One tiny dot of light at the time.
Kusama’s work is beyond anything I have seen before, but it reminded me of something I have read before, Clarice Lispector’s novel, The Hour of the Star.
“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of the prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes. It was ever so. I don’t know why, but I do know that the universe never began."
One polka dot. Then another one, after one more. Until infinity. Until eternity. That's how life began, one dot and one yes followed by more.
But it is also how the world ends. We will be reduced to a minute polka dot, lost in the billions and billions of polka dots, that like us, have transformed.
I never thought a single polka dot could contain the universe.
"Dots lights apertures
in the infinite."
—The Haiku Guys & Gals for Kusama, mi amor.