Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kusama's Self-Obliteration (Jud Yalkut, 1967)

Yayoi Kusama's film Self-Obliteration documents a distinct period in the Japanese artist's work. The 1960s represent a period for Kusama where she is working and living in New York surrounded by the popular avant-garde of the time. Happenings, performance art, improvised and experimental music and the developing psychedelic consciousness are what define the film Self-Obliteration. These elements are added to Kusama's own philosophy of overcoming the boundaries and burdens of self-identity.

The film Self-Obliteration joins Kenneth Anger's Invocation of the My Demon Brother and Ira Cohen's Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda as a classic psychedelic visual document from the 1960s.

“‘Obliterate you personality with polka dots,’ exhorts Kasuma at her strip-and-paint exhibition, which she calls ‘naked happenings.’ ‘Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment. Take off your clothes. Forget yourself. Make love. Self-destruction is the only way to peace…’Kusama is prepared to obliterate any country that indulges in war games, particularly Australia."

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