"NARCISSUS GARDEN" by YAYOI KUSAMA @
In 1966 at the 33rd Venice Biennale, Yayoi Kusama presented one of her most striking environmental works - NARCISSUS GARDEN.
The Venice Biennale is one of the world's oldest and most respected International Contemporary Art Events, which is presented every two years.
Kusama was not officially invited to present her work, but in the Giardini of Garden, where the permanent national pavilions of the Biennale are staged, Kusama arranged 1.500 silver mirrored balls, withth an accompanying sign: "YOUR NARCISSIUM (sic) FOR SALE"
Dressed in a gold Kimono adorned with a silver obi, the artist stood in the middle of the massive installation and offered the balls for sale to passers - by for two dollars each.
She also distributed a statement, in praise of her work, by the English critic and Art Historian, Sir Herbert Read. Through this bold act, Kusama wanted to connect art to everyday experience, encapsulating the artist, the viewer and the surrounding environment within the mirrored surface of the balls, whilst also criticizing how the production, exhibition and circulation of art, was being subjected to increased commercialization. The action was eventually put to an end by the Biennale officials, but it garnered the attention of the International Press.
Nearly, 30 years later in 1993, Kusama was invited to represent Japan at the Javanese Pavilion in the 45th Venice Biennale.
Stainless Steel Balls
Diameter of a circle: 30 cm each
Collection of the artist
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