3 Artists on Yayoi Kusama’s Phalli’s Field

An absorbing installation of mirrors and soft polka dots by Yayoi Kusama. Join artists Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Astrid Svangren and Alexander Tovborg as they explore what Kusama herself describes as “a sublime, miraculous field of phalluses.”

“You become self-conscious,” says Danish performance and video artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (b.1970) of the initial response to entering the mirror-lined room, which she also experiences as something very physical. Moreover, Rasmussen feels that one almost starts to lose grip of what the meaning of life really is – if you’ve ever grasped it: “You just become another dot in the Universe that suddenly disappears.”

The Swedish artist Astrid Svangren (b.1972) has conflicting feelings towards the installation and in particular the stuffed polka-dotted textile objects, which she experiences as both childlike: “They look like candy canes” and oddly intimidating: “It’s almost hallucinating … like a drug that you bathe in. It never ends. It goes on, and you’re in the middle of it.”

“You can choose if you want to travel along with the look into infinity or if you dare stay where you are and look yourself in the eyes.” Like Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Danish artist Alexander Tovborg (b. 1983) is stricken by the self-consciousness that grips you in the mirrored room: “You’re confronted with yourself … The moment you start looking at yourself in the mirror it goes downhill. The dissatisfaction is enormous.”

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Astrid Svangren and Alexander Tovborg were interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen. The interview was recorded in Yayoi Kusama’s installation Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli’s Field, ‘Floor Show’ 1965/2013 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in January 2016 in connection to the exhibition ‘Yayoi Kusama – In Infinity’.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

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