Saturday, February 15, 2014

Yoko Ono at the Bob Rauschenburg Gallery Fort Myers

On January 24th 2014 Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace exhibition opened at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in Fort Myers. The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery is located on the Edison State College campus which is located about 8 miles south of downtown Fort Myers off of Hwy 41. In this humble setting ( with an incredible history ) hundreds of art lovers and pop culture lovers gathered for the reception of Yoko Ono's presentation. Ono calls her works "scores" for people to perform, just like music, so all of the work in this exhibition is participatory. And people LOVE it! The opening reception was charged with positive energy and active participation on a scale rarely seen in an event that allows people to just explore the nature of the art. With Yoko Ono's art there is no hesitation in the observers, it as if they understand exactly what to do with no prompting and have fun doing it.

Playing It By Trust is a large chess board with instructions to play your opponent as long as you can remember who your opponent is.

Wish Tree is an ongoing work in which live trees are presented to the public in order that they should hang written wishes on the branches. The wishes are collected and sent to Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. At the Imagine Peace Tower the wishes are then archived in or placed at its base. There are 3 Edison State College Students who will be traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland to hand deliver the wishes generated at this exhibition after its conclusion.

Pieces of a Light House

For the Imagine Peace exhibition a new work- Mend Piece was created by Yoko Ono which involved ceramic globes being broken and then glued back together by people attending the exhibition.
I am proud to say that I helped in the production/fabrication of this work by making the molds and troubleshooting the casting materials. The activity of mending the ceramics was a big hit at the opening. I have provided a short video from the night of the opening.

A total of 12 globes were produced for the exhibition with the help of Cesar Cornejo (from MoCA/Puno), John Byrd, Matthew Wicks, Jennifer Miller and myself.
The exhibition itself was brought to Fort Myers by Jade Dellinger (Director of Exhibitions & Collections for the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery) and curators Kevin Concannon and John Noga. I must also mention that the works of art by Yoko Ono are not constrained to the gallery. There is a billboard piece on Hwy 41.