Narcissus Garden in Rockaway

by Joseph McKeown

MoMA PS1 presents Yayoi Kusama’s site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden as part of Rockaway!, a free public art festival in Fort Tilden in Rockaway, Queens. Consisting of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, Narcissus Garden is on display in a former train garage that dates back to when Fort Tilden was an active US military base. The mirrored metal surfaces reflect the viewers (do you see Joseph?) as well as the industrial and decaying surroundings of the abandoned building. First unofficially presented in 1966 at the 33rd Venice Biennale, Narcissus Garden was installed on the lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion where Kusama stood among the mirrored balls. She tossed the spheres in the air and offered to sell them to visitors for 1,200 lire (approximately $2) in an act of self-promotion as well as a critique of overly commercial contemporary art. This exhibition is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday, 12pm to 6pm, through Labor Day, September 3.