Intervening

Review of Yoko Ono’s Interventions/2 exhibition at Bristol’s Georgian House Museum (28th Sept – 31st Dec 2019)

At 11am this morning it was a thrill to be one of the first members of the public to enter the Georgian House Museum as it opened. The dignitaries given an advance viewing had just left in their electric car. I was amazed that there were no queues and very few others eager to see the latest installation of one of the iconic film makers and campaigners of our age. This was in stark contrast to the Da Vinci exhibition held earlier this year in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, which had long queues outside for many days: perhaps a somewhat rarer sight, but even as an engineer I still found Ono’s exhibition by far the more powerful and enjoyable.

In preparation for this show Yoko Ono had sent a personal, written note:

To Bristol

Move with grace

Move with joy

Move with love

Peace

Yoko Ono

Sentiments I suspect a large proportion of those living and/or working in Bristol would applaud. Hopefully exploring and reflecting on her work currently on display in the city will help us to put it into practice.

World peace was not an explicit topic in any of the featured work but Yoko has this ability to make us stop and think, to take a simple act or item (such as a blink or a bottom) and explore it with such depth as to enable a transition into what we on this web-site would call higher level or mode of consciousness. Precisely the state of mind required to bring about peace . . .at any and all levels.

The aim of curator Jimmy Galvin was to demonstrate the ability of art to help us understand ourselves, our history and our culture. He has most definitely succeeding. To display Ono’s Arising (addressing the abuse of women) alongside the list of servants, in a house built in 1790 for slave plantation owner John Pinney, serves to connect past and present in a striking way.

The presentation of Ono’s films too was neat and effective: they were being shown on TV’s dating from the era in which the films were first made, mainly the 1960’s. These TVs were themselves positioned strategically each in one of the rooms which represent a different aspect of the Georgian way of life. As an art installation and campaigning method I thought, and felt, that this worked most effectively.

Getting a little wet to go into the garden of the Georgian House seemed a very small price to pay to add my contribution to Yoko’s garden artwork Wish Trees. My contribution, linking this thought-provoking exhibition with Yoko’s peace campaigning and with the essence of this web-site was this:

REMEMBER

What it means

To Be Human

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