Bethie Helliwell Portfolio

Yoko Ono – To The Light – The Serpentine

Yoko Ono

To The Light

The Serpentine

A full-scale retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery does justice to Yoko Ono's elusive, uneven, but by no means negligible art, says Richard Dorment.

On approaching The Serpentine for Yoko Ono’s exhibition ‘To The Light’ I noticed three trees.

Upon the trees were tied luggage labels. This piece was called “Wish Trees” and was first shown in 1996.

Yoko invites the viewers to write a wish on a label and tie it to the tree branches. The paper is waxy so will not be destroyed in the inevitable rainy london weather.

My friend Emma and I both wrote on a label each. On one side we expressed our wishes for our own lives and on the reverse we expressed the wishes we have for the wider world. It felt right to not only think about our personal wishes.

The atheistic of ‘Wish Trees, 1996/2012″ was pure and powerful. I really enjoy and value interactive art works, where the artists frees up the stiffness of a gallery setting.

  I studied the tree for a while before choosing which branch to tie my wishes to. I found the highest branch for my most highest hopes.

In the Telegraph:
And outside the Serpentine show members of the public are invited to write their dearest wish on a tag, and tie it to one of Yoko’s ‘Wish Trees’. This is the kind of thing even her admirers find twee. Fortunately, the critic Michael Bracewell is on hand to set us right. In Saturday’s Guardian he accused anyone who happen to find the whimsy of the Wish Tree less powerful than he does of being both sexist and racist. I only hope that when he tied his wish to the tree, he asked for a sense of perspective.
Written by Richard Dorment

Another of Yoko Ono’s pieces which caught my eye was “Play It By Trust 1966/2012”

Emma knew how to set out the chess pieces, but it was some what of a trust game with the pieces not differing in colour.

“The game becomes reality” – Yoko Ono

I really wish I knew how to play chess.

We also took part in Yoko Ono’s “Smiles Film”.

I have the app on my phone, so my partner and I took part from home, but it was more interesting to visit the gallery and take part with the webcam and white wall background.

From Huffpost Culture
Yoko Ono is an artist who wants to make you smile – quite literally in the case of hercrowd-sourcing #smilesfilm project, that encourages users around the world to contribute footage of themselves smiling for her growing global database of grins.
Written by Sam Parker

Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece, 1964/1665” and “Cut Piece, 1964/2003”
The two performances mirror each other as both occur in turbulent political times and times of war.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and was inspired mainly by Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece”.
Yoko Ono first performed ‘Cut Piece’ in 1964 in Japan.
In 2003 she performed the piece for the last time in Paris.
This work is great research for my dissertation,
which explores the importance of textiles within performance art.

Please see more information on this exhibition through the links below:

This entry was published on September 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm. It’s filed under Exhibitions, Inspirations, London, Performance Art and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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