17 NOVEMBRE 2023 - 24 MARZO 2024

Bergamo’s programme from 17th November 2023 to 24th March 2024 has already become one of the events most eagerly awaited by art enthusiasts and others alike.

For this special occasion of Bergamo Brescia Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2023, Bergamo’s Palazzo della Ragione will host an exhibition of the works of Yayoi Kusama (Matsumoto, Japan, 1929). According to a survey conducted by The Art Newspaper, Yayoi Kusama is the most popular artist in the world. The exhibition will bring to Bergamo Fireflies on the Water, one of her most iconic works from the Infinity Mirror Room, from the Whitney Museum of American Art collection in New York.

The installaton, curated by Maria Marzia Minelli, consists of an introductory itinerary that deepens the seeking for Yayoi Kusama through poems, films and documentation, creating a space for sharing physical and digital experiences and allowing for an entry into the imagination of the famous Japanese artist from differing points of view.

Fireflies on the Water, at the center of the itinerary, is a room-sized installation designed to be looked at in solitude, one person at a time. The work consists of a dark space with mirrors all around; in the centre of the room is a pool of water which conveys a sense of stillness. In this there is a viewing platform, rather like a pier. 150 small lights hang from the ceiling, like fireflies, and this is what gives the installation its name.

These elements create a dazzling effect of direct and reflected light, emanating both from the mirrors and from the surface of the water. Space appears infinite, without upper or lower limits, without a beginning or an end. As in Yayoi Kusama’s early installations, including the Infinity Mirror Room (1965), Fireflies on the Water embodies an almost hallucinatory approach to reality. While related to the artist’s personal mythology and therapeutic work process, this work also refers to sources as varied as the myth of Narcissus and Kusama’s native Japanese landscape.

The place that holds the installation is surrounded by light and sound and entering the room can be compared to a meditative act, of a contemplation capable of taking the public into another dimension, an invitation to abandon the sense of self and to surrender to a kind of meditative magic.

An extensive programme of workshops for schools and families, designed by The Blank’s educational services, will take place during the exhibition. Yayoi Kusama. Infinito Presente is completely accessible to the hearing impaired through guided tours in LIS – Sign Language.

More information and details on pre-sales on the website www.theblank.it

The initiative, curated by Stefano Raimondi, is promoted by The Blank Contemporary Art and the Comune di Bergamo as part of a three-year cultural agreement aimed at enhancing the activity of the Association and already counts on the involvement of important local realities such as MAGRIS S.p.A. and ArtCare s.r.l.

The exhibition is part of the programme of the ARTDATE Contemporary Art Festival, organized by The Blank and Palazzo Monti from 9th to 26th November in the cities of Bergamo and Brescia.

The Bergamo Brescia Italian Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2023 event embraces Intesa Sanpaolo and A2A as Main Partners, Brembo as System Partner, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and SACBO as Area Partners. The Ministry of Culture and the Regione Lombardia are institutional partners together with the Cariplo Foundation, the Brescia Community Foundation and the Bergamo Community Foundation.

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