Yayoi Kusama, Where the Lights in My Heart Go, 2016 Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro; © Yayoi Kusama; Photo: Simon Klein
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) will close the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Where the Lights in My Heart Go—one of the artists immersive mirror room installations—11 weeks early due to an unresolved building code violation, which states that the work blocks access to the elevator on the second floor of the museum. The work was originally to run until 10 May but will close on 23 February because officials were unable to rectify the violation.
More than 5,000 people have visited the AAMs installation since it opened on 20 December. The museum has been using a freight elevator in lieu of the blocked elevator, but building codes mandate that the elevator must be available in case of emergencies and to allow access for the handicapped. The museum originally intended to install the work in its rooftop garden, but later withdrew that idea amid concerns about how it would survive the Colorado winter.
In a statement to The Art Newspaper, the museum says: “The AAM and the City of Aspen have reviewed the museums [Kusama] installation to ensure its compliance with municipal building codes. It is the determination of both parties that fulfilling the artwork's need for natural light and appropriate space and code requirements cannot be achieved equitably within the museums layout at this time.”
The museum has not been cited or fined for any violations. “The AAM is grateful to the city for their professionalism in working with us to reach this decision, and thankful to our visitors for their ongoing support,” a spokeswoman for the museum says. As for the reason to keep the installation open until the end of the week, the AAM says that both parties agreed to that date.
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