Yoko Ono. Half-A Wind Show—A Retrospective

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Yoko Ono, Walking On Thin Ice, 1981

Yoko Ono, Walking On Thin Ice, 1981. Video still © Yoko Ono. All rights reserved

Featuring nearly 200 works divided into several thematic sections, including installations, objects, films, drawings, photographs, text, audio, and documentation of past performances, Yoko Ono. Half-A Wind Show—A Retrospective presents a comprehensive overview of the manifold output of this pioneering conceptual and performance artist. Ideas, rather than materials, are the main component of her work. Many of those ideas are poetic, absurd, and utopian, while others are specific and practical. Some are transformed into objects, while others remain immaterial. Her work frequently reflects the artist’s sense of humor as well as her pronounced sociocritical attitude.

The point of departure for many of Ono’s works is found in her Instructions: oral or written guidelines for viewers that offer a host of suggestions and assign a much more active role to the audience than usually expected in the art world. Many of her pieces could even be regarded as incomplete without the physical or mental participation of the viewer.

The exhibition, organized on the occasion of Ono’s 80th birthday, opens with a presentation of some of her most significant works from the 1960s, including her early performances, works on paper, and objects. During this period, Ono emerged as a prominent figure of the New York avant-garde scene and became close to individuals such as musician John Cage, founder of the Fluxus movement George Maciunas, and filmmaker Jonas Mekas. Other sections of the exhibition are dedicated to her film production and work as a musician, spanning her entire career up to the present day. Some of these works, inspired by her collaboration with John Lennon, will be shown alongside more recent projects, such as the album that Ono recorded with Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon in 2012. The final section features her latest installations and participatory pieces, including several that were conceived specifically for this retrospective.

Yoko Ono, Walking On Thin Ice, 1981. Video still © Yoko Ono Publication © 2014 FMGB Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa, Bilbao. All rights reserved

Richard Serra, Double Torqued Ellipse, 2003-2004

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