Monday, December 02, 2013

Yoko Ono: War is Over (If You Want It)

Yesterday I saw the Yoko Ono exhibition War is Over (If you want it) at the MCA in Sydney. I can usually only last half an hour at art exhibitions but Yoko Ono's show was so interesting and so moving I stayed for most of an hour.

Yoko Ono requires her audience to think for themselves, that's what is so wonderful about it. She leads you by the hand, shows you her vision, then asks you to think about it. So you do. You stand there in front of something that might seem quite mundane and search through your soul's thoughts. You get into conversations with your next door neighbour, standing as you are wordless and pondering.

In one room there was a plastic maze in the center of which was a desk with a phone. As you go in you are requested to remove your shoes and informed that  the phone may ring while you are in the maze. If so please answer it as Yoko is ringing regularly to speak to her audience. She will speak to you for 10 minutes. I found myself standing in the maze, wishing that she would ring so I could tell her how moved I was by her art and how lucky I felt being able to experience it.

Like a lot of exceptional art, you can't just read about it in a book, you have to be there and experience it yourself. 

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