Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Yoko Ono in Shanghai: I Love You, Not!
I will not lie, at first I was quite excited to see Yoko-ono's work. I have never seen Yoko-Ono's previous works, and to be honest, the only reason why I know of her is because of her relationship with the late John Lennon. Overall, I was not impressed by her work at all. I was quite disappointed. At first it started out with me, Hana, Val, and Kevin, waiting outside for 45 minutes in the gloomy weather. We watched her video replay itself 3-4 times before anything had actually happened. My first impression of Yoko: creepy. She is a creepy looking lady. Her voice is of peace and harmony but how shes says it seems so generic and even a little fake. Daphne explained the coffins outside represented those who have suffered thoughout the world, coffins are specific for each country, differentiated by the plant. This was nice of her but at the same time so generic. Of course the world suffers, its terrible but I felt the art really had no meaning.
I did not like the "I love you" part. It actually angered me. Her video replayed her movement of "I love you" through the use of flashing lights. Apparently, her idea has been going as early as 2004, which disappoints me because this has already lasted that long. I thought her idea was completely unoriginal. Yes, there is suffering. Yes, people die unfairly. Yes, using light can be used as a universal language so everyone can understand. But I feel that this has no substance what so ever. It seemed more like brainwashing than anything. To me, "I love you" are three very sensitive words to me, not to be used so freely. I found it ridiculous. Yoko-Ono says I love you but to who, for what. The more it was said by her, the more it seemed to lose meaning for me. Superficial. I will admit, it seemed nice of her to create one gigantic prism light in memory of John Lennon, in, I believe but forgive me if its incorrect, Poland. Touching sure. But at the same time, I feel that she is just using the memory of John Lennon to bring attention to her "art." She could have expressed her care not so publicly. She probably meant to stir people's emotion and bring recognition of love, but it just all seems to fake. She just uses her relationship with John Lennon and the power she has accumulated because of it to boast herself and her not-so-genius, not-so-new, not-so-creative ideas.
After watched the video for the forth time, Yoko appears on the rooftop, holding out the peace sign for a long while so she can have her photo-op. Then she repeats her message of "I love you" though you can barely hear her because of her tiny voice. After her brief appearance, she disappears and the exhibit begins. I walk in and what it consisted of was mainly empty space. Her art seemed to be less visual and more reading. Overall, I was disappointed. I see where she is getting at but it just doesn't seem deep at all. It seems that she is trying to change the world, peace and harmony, love, recognizing the mother who brought you to this world...it just all seems so superficial. Perhaps I am being too judgmental. Perhaps I had irrational high expectations. It just didn't seem deep enough for me. It did not have substance in my eyes.