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SU fashion lecture to be held at Yayoi Kusama mirrored room in Rochester museum

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — You’ve probably seen the pictures on Instagram but now Central New York Residents will get the chance to explore one of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s mirrored rooms.

Kusama’s “Let’s Survive Forever” installation, which is part of her Infinity Mirrored Room collection, opened at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery in October 2023, and next month a Syracuse University Fashion Design Professor is set to give an engaging lecture there.

Jeffrey Mayer, Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University will give a lecture titled “Yayoi Kusama: From Avant-Garde to Iconic Collaboration in Fashion” on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 7-8 p.m. that will delve into the fascinating evolution of Yayoi Kusama as a style icon.

“From her groundbreaking debut in 1968 with avant-garde clothing showcased in the ‘Kusama Corner’ at Bloomingdale’s to her recent influential collaboration with Louis Vuitton initiated in 2022, Kusama’s journey in the fashion world has been nothing short of iconic,” stated the Memorial Art Gallery. “Renowned for her enduring fascination with polka dots in her artwork, Kusama’s influence extends into the realm of fashion, resonating with designers such as Carolina Herrera, Geoffrey Beene, and Emanuel Ungaro, all-embracing the playful pattern. Professor Mayer provides an overview of Kusama’s transformative trajectory as a fashion icon, exploring the symbiotic relationship between her artistry, love for polka dots, and their pervasive presence in the world of high fashion.”

On loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario, Kusama placed a time limit on how long viewers can spend inside of the small room. In just one minute, Memorial Art Gallery officials say this installation will give you time to reflect on yourself and the beauty that repetition can bring.

The owners add that this caters to a growing need for authentic experiences.

“That idea of being immersed in the installation and that you get to be absorbed by it and consumed by it, but you’re also an integral part of it, right,” said Curator in Charge Jessica Marten. “That room, that mirrored infinity room doesn’t have much value unless someone’s in it, viewing it. You become, you know sort of of an essential part of that experience.”

Mayer’s lecture will also explore how Kusama’s avant-garde sensibilities have continued to captivate the fashion industry and how her collaborations transcend conventional boundaries, creating a lasting impact on the artistic expression within couture.

“This lecture promises to unravel the enchanting story of Kusama’s imprint on the fashion landscape and the enduring allure of polka dots in the ever-evolving world of style,” stated the Memorial Art Gallery.

If you’re interested in attending the lecture, you can register by clicking here.

The installation will also be on display until May 2024. Tickets are five dollars, along with the admission fee and there are no age restrictions.

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