From her arrival to the United States in 1957 until her return to Japan in 1973, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan) found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. Though Kusama would go on to make work in virtually every medium, her years in New York are notable for her work in performance, particularly in the happenings, body-painting parties, and demonstrations she organized during the height of political and social revolutions of the 1960s. Kusama in Film presents a view into this formative era, focusing on documentation of the artist’s performance work and her early thinking on her concept of infinity. In addition to director Heather Lenz’s award-winning documentary Kusama: Infinity, this presentation includes Kusama’s collaboration with director Jud Yalkut in the 1967 short film Yayoi Kusama’s Self Obliteration alongside other more recent short films tracing the enduring influence of Kusama’s performance art.

The feature-length documentary Kusama: Infinity will be offered daily from 10:30AM–12:00PM. The short films will be presented on a daily loop (runtime approximately 30 minutes). Visitors are invited to follow this introduction to Kusama’s video and performance practice with the accompanying presentation Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art After Kusama, an exhibition of works from the ICA’s permanent collection that offers insight into Kusama’s influences and her important legacy on contemporary art.


One included film, Yayoi Kusama’s Self Obliteration, contains flashing lights, as well as brief nudity. English subtitles and open captioning provided.