Yoko Ono has been many things over her long career: artist, musician, muse and – inarguably – icon. But that last bit, and the fame that has come with it, has obscured the fact that her art is some of the leading experimental, performance and sound-focused work of the twentieth century. She’s worked in performance, film and drawing, she was part of Fluxus, she’s made music and she’s fought for peace. She is, in other words, totally legit and totally overlooked. Her work is always radical, always earnest, and often quite silly, combining poetry, whimsy, humour and razor-sharp intelligence.
Now, the Tate is righting the wrong of Ono’s overlooked art career with a big show of her work from the 1950s to now, and it’s opening next week.
The show will include instruction pieces, scores, films and photography from throughout her career, as well as interactive installations which properly engage the audience. Much of Ono’s work after her earlier performance experiments has centred on vociferous calls for peace, and this show will include ‘Wish Trees For London’, an audience participation work where visitors can contribute wishes for world peace. Don’t you even think about wishing for anything not peaceful, or she’ll hunt you down and kick your head in herself.
Can’t wait? Here are the top ten exhibitions in London right now.
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