Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yoko Ono- Fly opening

Nov 22nd


An unexpected interactive behavior performance and something else

If it is not for Yoko Ono, I would not have gone out in such a rainy night. On my way to Ke Center for Contemporary Art center, I could not keep thinking: what kind of exhibition this famous woman will bring to us?


The first outdoor performance was Onochord: I love you. Ono used flash lights and said I love you to audiences and asked all the audiences say that to your family, your friends and people around you. Although there were not so many audiences using flash lights interacted in the performance due to some objective reasons, lots of them said it directly in words. After we went into the main hall, I found several works share some similarities with the first one, like” Mend piece –for shanghai”: four tables, 16 chairs, several broken cups or plates on the desks ,audiences are invited to glue or tie the broken pieces back to original shape. After mending, all works will exhibition on the shelves. These pieces of paper hanging on the wall are also part of performance. One of it tells us to “Shake hands”: a person stand behind a cloth with a hole in the middle and shake hands with people in front of him/her. This performance starts this Tuesday in metro stations, supermarket, restaurant and other public areas and every pass-by can join the performance and bring it home. ”Telephone”: the telephone standing in the lobby, in fact, is a performance, which has not started till Yoko leave china. When in somewhere else, she will call the number at any time, no matter who answer the phone, can talk with the artist and conduct the performance.


All the above works can be call “Instruction art”: the artist proposes the idea and the performance conducts by both creator and audience. among all the instruction art pieces in this exhibition, we can see that the behaviors, like shaking hands, mending, answering the phone, themselves are very common in our daily life, but the artist put these common behaviors into carefully designed artistic environment to interfere our usual thinking habit and common concepts .moreover, it also produce questionable exploration towards the long existed values.


When we decided to leave, I found the biggest installation we supposed to see first:” Exit”. 100 coffins were lying in order at the front of the entrance. Holly grows in the upside of every coffin if the coffins stand for death; perhaps the holly stands for our hope, a possibility of reviviscence and life. Though the image of 100 coffins might be shocking, green and living hope gives us another aspect of observation towards death and other disasters, as well as reflection about the dedicate and fragile situation of our current situation. 


Maybe there is another interactive performance or instruction in this exhibition. It followed by the “I love you” section, when thousands of people tried to pour into the building. After that much squeeze and push, someone finally shouted out the key words: we come here for love, not for violence! This performance ended up successfully with everyone’s entry to the building.


Actually, before this exhibition, what I knew about Yoko was just her marriage to john Lennon, her legendary love story and world known frame. But the other side of this celebrity is an artist who has sincere concerns and questions about our fragile living situation, who has the ideas and creativity to produce artistic events, which come from usual concepts and habits.


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