In what could be one of the most desirable works of her artistic career, Yayoi Kusama‘s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins merges two of her signature concepts. Not only is it one of her iconic Infinity Mirror Room installations, its reflective walls granting the illusion of stretching ad infinitum, but it also incorporates her quintessential symbol, the spotted pumpkin. In fact, this immersive art experience is the first time the two elements have been brought together since her Mirror Room (Pumpkin), which was created for the Japanese Pavilion at 1993’s Venice Biennale. And referring to All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins as an “immersive art experience” is wholly accurate, as the viewer is invited to step inside the installation, essentially becoming part of the art.

The All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins Experience

Approaching the Installation’s Room

With an installation like this, every little aspect of the museum’s presentation will affect and impact the viewer’s experience. For instance, the copy of All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins that is currently traveling North America as part of the Infinity Mirrors exhibition will inevitably be displayed differently at each location. But for their copy, the third of three made, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) truly embraced the work’s nature, generous signage beckoning those in attendance inside, pumpkin-like hues preparing viewers for what awaits them.
Several placards providing relevant facts about the artist escort viewers through a queue, the information emphasizing a connection between the artist and her work. And, in the process, a feeling of intimate knowledge begins being evoked in the viewer, which culminates in a wall-sized text that illuminates about the installation proper.

Approaching the Installation

The 13-square foot room that houses the installation is presented as the centerpiece of one of the museum’s enclaves, its clean exterior granting negligible information about what is contained within. Countering this, the informational intimacy that began just outside this chamber is continued along the walls, a series of dot-centric designs imparting insights about the artist and her works.
Reaching the backside of the room, after the various texts having prepared the viewer to experience Kusama’s work, one finds the singular doorway into the installation’s room, an unassuming panel that would be overlooked if it wasn’t for the presence of an attendant.

Entering the Installation

Ushered inside in pairs, joined by a monitoring member of the museum, visitors are only permitted to enter the installation once and even then only for 45 seconds. To place this in perspective, that’s the length of time it supposedly takes to make a standard ATM withdrawal. And while waiting for your money to discharge from a machine may seem like an eternity, it passes all too quickly when trying to fully appreciate the sight of 62 yellow-and-black pumpkins purposefully placed on the ground, their glowing forms cast into an illusory infinity by the mirrored walls within.
Once the visitor steps inside the mirrored space, the artwork is intrinsically altered by their presence, their reflection becoming mingled in the repetitive imagery. And it is this aspect that makes Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins truly transcendent, its captivating and almost psychedelic effect making the experience uniquely individual to each visitor.

Exiting the Installation’s Room

As one exits the room that houses the installation, a final quote from the artist delves into her intent. And while the experience of viewing Kusama’s installation can’t be fully appreciated through mere photographs, it is a better option than not being able to experience this intimate work at all.

View the museum’s dedicated page for the installation

The acquisition of Yayoi Kusama’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins installation was initiated by Gavin Delahunty, the Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, in close partnership with Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, and it is jointly owned by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Rachofsky Collection. The installation will be open to public viewing from Sunday, October 1st, 2017 until Sunday, February 25th, 2018 at the museum’s physical location (1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201).

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