This publication provides the first-ever overview of Kusama’s early performative activities. Her work from the sixties, when she was working in New York, is regularly shown in exhibitions around the world. Little known until now, however, is that much of her work originated in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, and was mainly documented by Dutch and Belgian photographers. Kusama, back then living in Amsterdam, regularly carried out unique actions for their cameras: naked and painted with dots, dressed in her self-designed “fashion”, in the streets and the sex shop, or just in the Dutch nature. Since 2005, the 0-institute has been collecting archive material with a team of art historians and conducting interviews with eyewitnesses, including artists, friends, and organizers. The recent discoveries of unpublished photos from forgotten archives led to the development of this publication that shines a different light on the artistic activities of Kusama, which are so colourful and cannot be contained under a single heading.
Photography by Raoul van den Boom and Harrie Verstappen