Kusama: Infinity

Review: Kusama: Infinity

By yuefei
06 Oct 18

Typical art documentary with some redeeming aspects

Pretty much your typical doco, but nonetheless a good doco. Stylistically it felt amateur at best, but the substance made for a fulfilling 80 minutes. "Kusama - Infinity" takes a linear, biographical approach to document artist Yayoi Kusama's experiences and makes a somewhat poor attempt at explaining why this may be (and for that I'm kind of glad, the mystery of her character is one of the biggest appeals of the artist). It's honest, and even takes a chance to criticise the art world through Kusama's experiences in New York, where her innovation was stolen by other, more accepted (due to their gender and racial identities) artists.

I believe that critique, the documenting of her times spent in New York, is where this documentary comes above others.

Apart from that, her struggle with mental illness caused by social marginalisation was heart-felt, and the same can be said with the conflict between her and her hometown.

It takes one through the usual emotional states typical of a documentary, beginning with a curious, foreshadowing tone, delving into one that is exciting, which then morphs into depressing, which ends as inspiring.

That's pretty much it, a typical good documentary which doesn't delve too far into the subject (though they did bring in a psychoanalyst, which was only slightly amusing) but instead goes through her life with a shallowness that sometimes gives us interesting, perky little details about the artist, but nothing more.

And honestly, I'm happy with just that.