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Yayoi Kusama at the AGO: Infinity Mirrors


Hi All,

Skip the first two paragraphs to hear more about my outfit and what I wore. Skip to the last paragraphs (after the pictures) to know what to expect if you will be going to the Yayoi Kusama exhibit and have not booked a ticket online.

Some of you may or may not have heard about the Yayoi Kusama exhibhit called Infinity Mirrors at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). The exhibit, which has accumulated much buzz in many different cities previous to coming to Toronto, started March 3 and will be ending this May 27, 2018... soooooo you still have about 2 months to go see it. For those of you who are not into art galleries, let me just say that this is not your typical exhibit. Infinity Mirrors is a powerful interactive experience. In contrast with having to use your deductive reasoning to sort out the mysteries of a white canvas "splattered" with paint - as my boyfriend so graciously pointed out (about another exhibit), the Kusama exhibit is popular is because it allows people to engage with the art and quantify their experience with a picture that captures the moment (or alllmost captures the moment).

But enough of my ramblings. If you do go to the exhibit, take the time to read the pieces of information on the signs that are placed in and around the line ups for each room. They give you a lot of information about the artist and her works.There are also many different rooms aside from the main attractions that are worth seeing if you have the time.

I wore red because I had done some research and seen that a lot of the artists signature polkadots were associated with the colour red. Originally, I wanted to wear all red but sided with my marble patterned a-line skirt with my knee high flat boots. This outfit was a bit impractical for the wait outside but I figured the red and white colours would help me stand out in the darker rooms when we took pictures. I also wanted a 60's feel to my outfit because many pieces I saw previous to attending as well as what research I did, suggested Kusama to be influenced by pop art (which was big in the sixties).

Experience and What to Expect

I found the easiest way to get tickets was to go for the same day tickets and stand in line from about 9:15am until the ticket office opened at 10:00am. I had tried twice to get advance tickets online but the queues were horrendous and I never got to book.

The exhibit is pretty much a whole day affair and you can't necessarily choose the time of your tickets because the they are based on time slots. Example some tickets are for 10:30am while other slots start at 12:30pm or 3:00pm etc.. However, when you go up to buy the tickets they will tell you the earliest time available. Your ticket includes general admission, so if your access to Infinity Mirrors is later that day, you can always check the other collections first (or after) because they aren't based on your time slot for the the Kusama exhibit. Additionally, the AGO has a café, a bistro, and espresso bar so you can always grab a meal or coffee before you go into the exhibit.

Our tickets ended up being for 12:30pm so we explored the other gallery collections and then went to line up for Infinity mirrors at 12:20pm. It should be noted that when we lined up, there were many people before us and also some who had started to line up for the 1:20pm slot as well (to be clear this was the line up inside the gallery after the purchase of our tickets).

After your tickets are scanned to go into Infinity Mirrors you will have to wait in more lines. Let me explain. The whole exhibit is not necessarily non stop line ups. There are 6 or so main attractions that are all rooms in which you step into. As you can see in my pictures above there are only 2 or 3 people inside. Each room has a line but as you go through the exhibit there are other open rooms with additional works or information about Yayoi Kusama.

The lines were on average about 10 - 15 minutes....and they moved fairly quickly. Maybe I didn't notice because I was I reading all the information about Kusama as we went through the lines. Also, we did go on a random Tuesday so perhaps it would have taken longer on a weekend.

I brought my DSLR camera to the exhibit (which was allowed except for no flash photography; standard in most museums and galleries) but we ended up using my boyfriends phone because you only get 20 - 30 seconds in each room - so be prepared to take your selfies, quickly, if any at all.

Since it was just my boyfriend and I, we often got paired with another person or with two people because the rooms have a 3 person maximum. If you go by yourself you can often jump ahead in line and the staff will pair you with a couple to go in the room.

If anyone is looking to go, I hope this post helped. You can also find a lot of this information on the AGO website in frequently asked questions.

Bisous xo,

Court