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Walking In My Mind at the Hayward Gallery

Leigh Hatts

Tree trunks on the South Bank walkway have been covered in red spotted fabric by installation artist Yayoi Kusama.

Walking In My Mind at the Hayward Gallery
Spotted tree trunks on the South Bank
Walking In My Mind at the Hayward Gallery
Yayoi Kusama's polka dot sculptures on the Hayward Gallery roof with the Oxo Tower and Tate Modern on the skyline
Walking In My Mind at the Hayward Gallery
Giant books in the caves
Walking In My Mind at the Hayward Gallery
A visitor explores the cave passages

'Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees, 2009' is part of the Hayward Gallery's Walking In My Mind exhibition where artists are showing works that explore the inner workings of the mind.

Yayoi Kusama has placed red spotted blow-up and solid objects both inside and on the terrace where they form a frame for the SE1 skykine.

"My artwork is an expression of my life, particularly of my mental disease," says Kusama. "My art originates from hallucinations only I can see. I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings."

The exhibition's first room has Keith Tyson's 'Studio Wall' drawings which include a page from the Financial Times for 10 April 2007. This is not a giant photocopy but a painting faithfully reproducing every detail. In the middle of the room is Yoshimoto Nara's little house called 'My Drawing Room (bedroom included)' recreating his student room.

But the star attraction must be Thomas Hirschhorn's 'Cavemamman'. This is a network of tunnels resembling a mine but here the ground and other surfaces are all covered in brown parcel tape.

The floor is littered with not just brown fallen rocks but discarded drink cans. Philosophical writings and pictures of attractive young women are stuck to the walls and ceiling. Books are attached to fake dynamite.

All this is meant to represent "a mental space" and create the conditions for thinking. Hirschhorn is Swiss and the tunnels are inspired by the Swiss tunnel systems and the French Lascaux caves although they are more like a huge department store grotto leading to Father Christmas. Only here there is no exit and you must return to the one entrance although maybe by a different route. The installation is so extraordinary and so fragile that you should visit soon. Children will love it.

However parents may not be so happy with Jason Rhoades' 'The Myth Creation' which casually displays a sexually explicit picture on a low table. It's a pity because his train is fun. It will be interesting see the reaction during the reception for Lambeth and Southwark teachers on Friday.

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