Yoko Ono Makes You Do All The Work

Yoko Ono instructs gallery visitors to hammer a nail into a canvas to help create a piece of art
Here’s what the art piece looked like after I added my nail

We hammered nails, wrote messages, glued china, and tied wishes to trees. When we visited the Vancouver Art Gallery last week we saw an exhibit called The Instructions of Yoko Ono. And that’s exactly what we saw. Instructions. Essentially we read the instructions and followed them to create artwork. It was a unique way of experiencing art- art that required us to work and changed with each participant.

This installation was called My Mommy is Beautiful. Gallery visitors were instructed to write something about their Moms.

I followed Yoko Ono’s instructions and wrote a message for my mother.

In an artwork called Mend Piece you selected bits of broken china and put them together with glue and string. Then you placed your piece on long rows of shelves with the creations others had made.

This is my finished piece on the shelf where it was displayed near this poem by Yoko Ono.

At the installation titled Wish Tree, you were instructed to write a wish for someone you love on a tag and tie it to a tree. Here Dave ties our wishes together on the tree.

There were lots of other interesting participatory displays.

Dave climbed a ladder to look at himself in a mirror on the ceiling with a magnifying glass.

Here I select what I want to learn about the famous peace sit-in Yoko Ono and John Lennon staged in a Montreal hotel in 1969 by deciding which locker doors I will open. Each locker unit contained different pieces of information about the sit-in.

Here I put an Imagine Peace stamp on a map of Canada.

There were several exhibits we did not participate in.

Like this one where we were invited to put on a black sack and take off all of our clothes inside.

Or this one where we could take a photo of our eyes and write about a time we had been abused physically or emotionally.

You could play chess on a board where all the movers and all the squares were white

The Yoko Ono exhibit was unique because almost every piece on display was created by, or involved the viewer. I am not sure if it is my favourite kind of art but it was certainly interesting and engaging.

Other posts…………

A Bizarre Museum in Florence

Canmore’s Big Head

A Giant Baby and a Tiny Woman

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Filed under Art, Western Canada Travels

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