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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ono On Display

Yoko Ono came to Boston’s MIT’s List Visual Arts Center last Friday night to accompany her 150 plus pieces of artwork. This is the first time Yoko Ono’s work has appeared in an art gallery in the United States.

The late wife of the revolutionary icon John Lennon, Ono has been establishing herself as an avant-garde artist since the early ‘ 60s. Overshadowed by Lennon, she was producing intensely original and raw works of art even in the midst of Beatlemania. However, Lennon and the Beatles inspired much of her artwork.

Ono, now in her late’ 60s, made a brief appearance at her opening Friday night. She toured through the main room where her artwork was displayed accompanied by of course, a couple of security officials. Her appearance, along with her art, has changed with the times. Ono, now appears with a short crew cut in stead of her long coal black hippie locks of the sixties. No dresses or exposed skin anymore just a gray sports coat and black dress slacks, although she did keep those square blue-tinted sunglasses. Ono was very warm and social, stopping to greet almost every groping person seeking individual contact or offering “their love” and emotional words about “John.” She smiled and reciprocated the hugs offered to her.

As one might think, Ono’s artwork spans the spectrum. The responses heard from the public were a mixture of awe-inspired appreciation to a repelled disinterest of Ono’s unique expression. If you are going to bring children you may want to think twice. A few of the pieces feature nudity. There were four or five running films from a documentary of Ono and Lennon’s “Bed in for Peace” during the Vietnam War to Ono’s abstract alliance of “bottoms” wiggling and jiggling in succession on television as a petition for peace, instead of the typical 365 signatures.

Other works consisted of taxing imagination and “hands- full” of philosophical motives. Ono has painted a chessboard all white with the first few moves already made. The viewers are invited to sit down and play the remaining game “in their minds.” This was fascinating to experience and to watch others attempt. Many of Ono’s poems and displays were constructed, to be finished by the viewers, leaving it up to the imagination of the audience and individual. She had a number of “how to” instructional art pieces where the viewer has to put back together an encased “broken mug” with glue and pieces inside.

Whether Ono’s own education and experiences or John Lennon and the Beatles helped inspire these intensely unique creations, Ono has bared all parts of her being to construct this amazing display of art. Some may go and view just because it is Yoko Ono and some of the work may be made extraordinary by mere print of her name beside the piece. All in all it’s a cultural and mind enriching appreciation to ascertain Yoko Ono as an artist, aside from being John Lennon’s screeching side-kick.

It is moving and provoking, whether it inspires you to produce your own unique ideas as art or turns you away perplexed by some of Ono’s own, it is certainly worth the trip. Ono’s artwork will be displayed at MIT’s List Visual Art Center from October 19 to January 6 2002. List Visual Art Center is located on 20 Ames St. in Cambridge MA. Admission is free so go and check it out!