“Peas Can’t Stand Alone” Yayoi Kusama famously claimed. “When we erase nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environments.”
Known for her works with multiple dots, polka dots occupy a special place with the famous Japanese artist. From pumpkins to a giant balloon for a Macy’s Day parade, polka dots have been a recurring presence throughout his work, especially in his Infinity mirror rooms – immersive installations creating the illusion of eternity with endlessly recurring highlights of polka dots seeming to stretch forever.
This summer, the Tate Modern is offering the opportunity to participate in the creation of a Kusama work. Visitors will be invited to collaborate on The obliteration room – a blank white piece waiting to be transformed with Kusama’s signature polka dots. Armed with their own stickers, visitors to the exhibition will contribute to an evolving constellation of dots.
“With just one pea, nothing can be achieved,” the artist has claimed in the past. Here she offers an empty space in which one pea can be joined by another, and another, until something majestic is achieved. Reflecting Kusama’s fascination with repetition, accumulation and erasure, this interactive artwork expands as the frequency of the dots increases, creating new configurations of color and shape.
by Yayoi Kusama The obliteration room is at the Tate Modern from July 23 to August 29, 2022