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Yayoi Kusama, the Modern Alice

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Yayoi Kusama's polka dot art and Infinity Mirror rooms have made her one of the most successful artists alive today. Her more than seven-decade-long career has provided ample fodder for scholars to examine her artistic preoccupations. This article considers the scholarly consensus on the role of performance in Kusama's oeuvre and then examines two works, a 1968 happening and a 2013 illustrated book, in which Kusama (1929‐present) adapts Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland novels. By adapting Alice, Kusama is able to sharpen themes and symbols that she has deployed since the early days of her career.
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Keywords: 1960s; Alice in Wonderland; Japanese art; Lewis Carroll; New York; Yayoi Kusama; art; happening

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121755005 University at Buffalo, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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