WHITECHAPEL GALLERY E1 7QX
UNTIL 2 JANUARY 2022
Yoko Ono (b.1933 Japan) is back with an exhibition entitled Mend Piece for London and in true Ono style this involves participation. Visitors are coaxed to ‘Mend carefully. Think of mending the world at the same time.’ The doyen of participatory and performance art has devised an exhibition which involves repairing smashed pottery in the Japanese tradition of kintsugi as part of the display.
Ono, now aged 88 is forever at the vanguard of the avant garde art. She is also a peace activist and this exhibition is a vehicle for the public to collaborate in promoting peace. The colours Ono uses are white - the colour associated with peace in war. The visitor sits at white tables and chairs before white, smashed pottery, mending these objects with white string, white glue and white scissors. Most of the contributions now clutter the display shelves as a testament to public enthusiasm for the immersive art experience.
Ono’s reputation preceded her marriage to John Lennon, her third husband with whom she spent a honeymoon in Amsterdam in 1969 protesting against the Vietnam war with a week-long Bed-in for Peace. . She first exhibited Cut Piece in Kyoto, Japan in 1964 and later in New York and London. As the title infers, members of the public cut away small pieces of Ono’s clothes until she was completely naked to demonstrate reciprocity and trust between artist and viewer.
Mend Piece for London revisits Ono’s 1966 exhibition Mending Piece I held at the formerly famous, counterculture Indica Gallery in London where she met Lennon. In this respect Ono's work has come full circle and, in some ways, it is perhaps infinite.