Dec 12, 2016

The Flying Dutchman and In Infinity

I've made quite a few trips to Helsinki in the last few weeks, and I finally had the opportunity to check out the Yayoi Kusama exhibit "In Infinity" at the Helsinki Art Museum. Kusama is famous for her installations, and there were quite a few to be seen here. She has also collaborated with major fashion houses with some truly memorable results. There's the lady herself surrounded by candy-cane tentacles above. (I think it was a wax doll?)

Kusama has suffered from mental heath problems, and her art draws from hallucinations, fears, and obsessions. Infinity, like the title of the exhibition, is a major theme, as well as repetition and the desire to become one with the world. 

Here you can see some of the pumpkin sculptures Kusama is famous for. She also had a thing for phalluses made from different material. The boat in the background is covered with them. 

This was my favourite installation. You walk into a dark room with mirrors on the walls and water on the floor and the coloured orbs seem to go on forever. They also shifted colour once in a while.

The exhibition is running until January 22nd, if you want to see it.  

We also saw the National Opera's new production of Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander. The singing was fine, but the  production was just weird. The idea was that the storm is only in the head of the artist, and there wasn't even a glimpse of the ship in the show. The translation of the libretto had had a lot of the nautical terms and things referring to the sea removed, and the end result didn't make any sense. I felt sorry for anyone who saw the opera for the first time, they were probably totally lost. And I'm sorry, but most of the bits that need to be on a ship just didn't work as metaphors. And the ending, oh, boy. I won't spoil it, but they changed the ending so that the whole of the opera was undermined by the decision. There were some beautiful visuals, though. It was like seeing two different stories that just didn't have anything to do with each other. Square peg, round hole, people! I wish they'd stop doing these modern versions of operas. Mostly, they ruin the experience and come across as trying too hard. 

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