Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors has finally arrived to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I first became aware of this exhibit when images of the ‘Galaxy’ looking room began popping up while the exhibit was in New York City, and it was like love at first sight. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch it while it was in NYC and I kind of forgot about it, not realizing it was a traveling exhibition. Fast forward to 2017, I discovered that the exhibit was finally coming to Toronto and waited 7 hours online the first day tickets went on sale to get them. It felt like the queue took forever, but turns out I was pretty lucky to only have to wait 7 hours, a lot of my friends were not able to get tickets the first day they went on sale and ended up waiting hours only to be told to try again the next day.
The exhibit itself, was really neat to experience. There was 6 mirrored rooms that you could walk into, and everyone was only allowed 20 seconds inside each room. Now, I understand that the 20 second rule is to get people in and out of the rooms as quickly as possible and to keep the line moving.. But what I didn’t enjoy was the fact that they wanted everyone to go into the rooms in groups of 3. So if you lined up by yourself, you were essentially given two strangers to go inside the tiny mirrored rooms with. Or in my case, we were given one stranger to go into the rooms with. They even tried splitting up pairs if there was 3 sets in a row. I don’t think that was fair of them to do. Some people might have wanted to experience the rooms alone as they were such tiny spaces, and with the 20 second time constraint I don’t think it was fair for them to impose how people were allowed to go into the rooms after spending most of your day in line trying to get in. It seems that the 3 people rule is something that happened in Toronto, as my friends in NYC never had that rule imposed on them. To get through all 6 rooms took us around 2 hours.
Annoyance aside, these rooms were absolutely stunning and well worth the wait. On top of the 6 mirrored rooms, there was also two pieces where you could peek into little windows and experience mini mirrored rooms and at the end of the exhibit, there was the ‘Obliteration’ room where everyone was given a sheet of stickers that they could place anywhere they wanted within the room. It was a nice touch to be given the opportunity to interact with the art in a different way.