Infinity Mirrors at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA
I had been waiting to visit the Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition since it first came to the United States. So we jumped at the opportunity to see it at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. (The exhibition runs through February 17, 2019) Although most tickets were sold through advanced reservations there are 100 daily walk-up tickets available for each day. We do not recommend this method of getting a ticket because it may mean a long wait in line and a disappointment if you don’t get tickets.
Although we often bring the whole group to art museums, we left the Little Little (2) and Middle Little (4) at home with a sitter. The Big Little (6) accompanied us and enjoyed himself. Children who come along to Infinity Mirrors need to be able to stand still and not touch anything, which can be challenging even for adults in some of the rooms.
We had heard from friends that the wait times were huge! Infinity Mirror tickets are timed but you need to arrive at least a half hour in advance to queue up. Once inside the exhibition you can expect to wait for each of the rooms as well. You get about 30 seconds in each of the six rooms. (The staff is armed with stopwatches.) The High Museum of Art website says to expect your visit to take 2 hours in order to visit all 6 rooms.
In anticipation of the long wait times we asked the Big Little to bring along a book to keep him occupied in line. He chose to bring along Pierre the Maze Detective, which is packed full of challenges to keep him busy. (Plus, Jeff and I love to play along so it was a win for the whole family.)
I’m not sure if we got lucky due to having the first tickets of the day (10am) or low crowds the day after Christmas, but we hardly waited at all. We initially assumed it was our ticket time and went to visit all the rooms first, only waiting a few minutes for each Infinity Mirror room. The lines were so short that we were able to go into rooms multiple times. Then we went to look at the other pieces of art before entering the final room.
You can’t bring very much into the rooms with you. There are small shelves outside each room to place your belongings while you are in there. We all downsized with small wallets and placing coats at the coat check just to make our lives easier. The Big Little left his book on the shelf for each room. There is one room that you can’t even bring your phone into due to the delicate nature of the ceramic pumpkins inside.
Enough about the logistics!
I was completely blown away by the rooms. Jeff was underwhelmed. The Big Little said they were cool and enjoyed how interactive the rooms are. I had been advised that taking pictures would make the time go by super fast and would take away from my enjoyment of the exhibition, but I did not find that to be true. Capturing photos of the room was part of the fun for me. I never felt rushed in any of the rooms.
Most of the rooms are limited to groups of three. If you are a single visitor they will make you go in with strangers, but they never attempted to break up our little group of three.
Each room transports you into a seemingly endless world. My favorite room was a room of floating lanterns. While waiting I read about how the lanterns were meant to evoke feelings of entering the afterlife. With that in mind I stood in a room that starts in absolute darkness before lights begin to appear all around you. This vision of the afterlife is awe inspiring. I can only hope this is what greets me on the other side.
Other rooms were more colorful and silly. I loved all these little pillow-looking tube worms. This room felt less serene.
There are other rooms that you don’t fully enter, you just peer into a viewing hole. These rooms are full of moving lights and fun patterns. I found these rooms more abrasive.
Then there was the room of giant pink balls. The Big Little loved these giant balls.
I think most people spend so much time in line they don’t spend time with some of the other art. We had plenty of time to take in these other pieces of art. While the rooms were amazing I also enjoyed these colorful pieces.
We took some photos so the Big Little could do some drawings of these later. He loved all the bright colors and oversized designs. They are so unique in their form and quite attractive as a collection.
Similarly, a huge wall full of oversized bright canvases could be studied all day.
Other sections of her art were muted. During long periods of depression Kusama worked with repetitive patterns and textures.
You could also see the play of some of the rooms in some of her other work.
I love how many fun things the Big Little sees in modern art. He giggled while looking for the hidden shoes in these pieces.
The large scale sculptures were almost a room of themselves. You could peek through them and walk all around them. The Big Little envisioned these as tentacles of a large sea creature coming up through the floor.
In the last room you are given a sheet of colorful stickers to place anywhere in the room. The room started out all white and each visitor places stickers on it as they leave the exhibition.
It was really fun to find places to put your stickers. Do you put them where there is already a collection of stickers or instead choose to find an empty space? What does that say about you?
I loved this exhibition and would encourage anyone who was interested to see the exhibition.
If you are interested in the Infinity Mirrors exhibition but can’t make it to the High Museum in Atlanta (the tour’s last U.S. stop), you can check out this book that goes through each piece in Infinity Mirrors with photos and description. (It was available at my local library!) Additionally, Kusama has illustrated a version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland which also serves as a wonderful introduction to her art for children.
If you are at The High Museum of Art with kids make sure to save a little time to stop by the two kids rooms. They are packed with fun activities and worth a quick stop on any visit.
The High Museum is a wonderful outing any time you are visiting Atlanta. I particularly enjoyed Infinity Mirrors and hope you get a chance to enjoy it too.