Here is Jodi’s latest installation in her Design Diary. This month she headed uptown to the beautiful Whitney Museum located on Madison Avenue at 75th Street. Without further ado, here are Jodi’s impressions of the exhibit.
Yayoi was born in Japan, but studied in America and the show is a chronological exhibit of her life’s work. It captures her inner workings of obsession and often, necessary compulsion.
The work is graphic, and complex. There is a definite touch of OCD going on, as she battles with faces, eyes, circles, amoeba and bacteria drawings of all sorts.
The way I interpreted the chronology of her work was:
1. Beginning discovery of youth – self-conscious awareness of form and body, and bodily changes within herself. (work of faces, eyes, and germs)
2. Coming of age, as her work focuses inward, towards her constant obsession with circles and sexuality.
3. Then her later years: Abstract ideas of existentialism and eastern philosophies softly underlining through her work, as well as the obsession with “soft” sculpture (which become her work later on).
So why, the dots?
This is my theory, and everyone is (of course) entitled to their opinion and critique of the subject matter. Remember that the circle is considered by many to be a “divine” shape, as it has no beginning or an end. We all embody this, as we go through the phases of our own lives from birth to death. The world around us echoes the circle as we observe the moon, the planets, and stars. We are all a part of this, and so her dots become the literal representation of that connection we have within us, and around us.
She further demonstrates it by dotting herself, as well as who or what she comes near. Whether it’s a horse, furniture, or a room. Like a shaman, she ceremoniously dots you, and only by completely immersing oneself with these dots do you slowly realize how you are now, a part of everything else.
One particular event stood in my mind, as her call to an “obliteration” of self, was one of the events at Woodstock.
So you may be wondering what I took away from all of this. I was actually reminded of a story of a neuroscientist who survived a stroke but had her ability to tap into the (rational) left side of her brain diminished. It led her to only feel and experience sensations through her right hemisphere. She had said that she felt “light” and, at one point, didn’t know where she started and everything else ended… like a big endless, and vast sea… you felt the expansion of yourself, and a oneness with the universe.
Yayoi made it a point to show you that connection, a visual guide for our souls, in a way. Whether or not it converted you, is up to your interpretation (as most works of art are)… But I personally left the place a believer!
Amazing, thanks Jodi!