Andrea Rosen Gallery: Yoko Ono: THE RIVERBED | Gallery 2: Asdzáá nádleehé - 11 Dec 2015 to 23 Jan 2016
Photo credit: Miguel Angel Valero. Courtesy of Yoko Ono.
Yoko Ono: THE RIVERBED
Opening reception: Friday, December 11, 6 - 8pm
Galerie Lelong: December 11, 2015 - January 29, 2016
Andrea Rosen Gallery: December 11, 2015 - January 23, 2016
"THE RIVERBED is over the river in-between life and death.
Stone Piece: Choose a Stone and hold it until all your anger and sadness have been let go.
Line Piece: Take me to the farthest place in our planet by extending the line.
Mend Piece: Mend with wisdom mend with love. It will mend the earth at the same time."
- Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono - a forerunner in Conceptual Art involving collaboration, audience participation and social activism - will present a double exhibition, THE RIVERBED, at Galerie Lelong and Andrea Rosen Gallery. Following her recent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, these interactive exhibitions are comprised of two entirely new full gallery installations. THE RIVERBED will open to the public on December 11, 2015 and continue through January 23, 2016 at Andrea Rosen Gallery and January 29, 2016 at Galerie Lelong. The artist will be present at the openings.
Since the early 1960s, audience participation has been a crucial aspect of Ono's work. To make a village is a political gesture, as well as a formal one. Audience participation is key to completing the THE RIVERBED through everyday action coupled with contemplation; they are collaborators with the artist, similar to the collaboration between the artist and the two galleries. Additionally, it is significant to Ono that all three "principals"- the artist and two gallery leaders-are female; the support and participation of women in power is one of Ono's longstanding concerns.
Conceived as two room-sized installations shown in two spaces-a whole in two parts-visitors are encouraged, via instructions, to visit both spaces in order to experience and fully understand THE RIVERBED. Both galleries will have a pile of large river stones that Ono has selected and gathered. She will inscribe the words like remember, dream, and wish on the stones, which have been honed and shaped by water over time. Visitors may pick up a stone and hold it in their lap, concentrating on the word and letting go of their anger or fear, transforming the stone into an emotional object to be placed upon the pile of stones in the center of the room. Additional instructions on paper will encourage you to "draw a line to take you the farthest place on our planet." Like the Wish Tree, THE RIVERBED becomes a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and the world. Uniting two separate physical spaces and environments, Ono will create a temporary, but real, village that brings Hikari (light in Japanese) in each space and viewer. Another aspect is to see the difference between the installations at both spaces. Though ostensibly the same, they will each evolve differently over time, part because of how the viewer interacts with the materials. These differences will be recorded, providing an opportunity to see that Ono's works is not only about audience participation, but how the effect has a significance within the work.
Mending Cup, an installation that has been shown in a number of Ono's retrospectives, will reinforce the idea of healing and will be shown in the smaller rooms at both galleries. Fragments of broken cups are placed on a table for the audience to mend with tape, string, glue or other materials and then placed on shelves around the all white room, reminiscent of a dream. The metaphor of mending and healing are close. In Ono's words: "As you mend the cup, mending that is needed elsewhere in the Universe gets done as well. Be aware of it as you mend." Following their mending, the participants may have an actual cup of coffee, forming another kind of temporary village.
In the last ten years, Yoko Ono's pioneering role in the international development of Conceptual art, experimental film, and performance art has begun to be more fully acknowledged. In summer 2015, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, presented Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1961-71, which reinforced her influence as one of the most important cultural change agents. Currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo is Yoko Ono from my Window, also on view at the Faurschou Foundation, Beijing is Yoko Ono: Golden Ladders. In 2016 Yoko Ono: Lumiere will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon. Galerie Lelong has previously collaborated with Yoko Ono and Studio One on two previous exhibitions: Touch Me (2008) and UNCURSED (2011). Andrea Rosen Gallery recently included Ono's Sky TV (1966) in the exhibition The Thing and The Thing In Itself (2014) curated by Robert Hobbs.
Curated by Timur Si-Qin
December 12, 2015 – January 23, 2016
Before they could be used for flight, feathers first appeared on dinosaurs for other, terrestrial purposes such as heat regulation, camouflage or signaling. Blindly, and through the ecstasy of geological timespans, their use was transformed and mortal animals were again granted the power of flight in a new way. In biology the evolution of the feather is an example of an exaptive trait, namely a trait that evolves for use in solving one adaptive problem, but then is at some point retooled or co-opted to serve another. Recent computational models of E.Coli suggest most traits start off as exaptations.
The exaptive trait stands in opposition to the idea that biology or the world is pre-determined. Instead it is wholly contingent. If the forms and functions of heredity can be so fundamentally repurposed and our material, animal bodies transmogrified to fly over mountains and swim beneath oceans, it is because matter is itself inherently open, lacking in essential character or permanent identity. A deep modularity of/and in service to a matter determined to experience all variations of itself.
Whatever functions a structure has today is no clear indication of its function or meaning in the future. At each moment of time, we are new. Dependently originated, the universe in a unique configuration; empty of essence yet pregnant with unimagined forms and unpredictable capacities. The artworks and objects in this exhibition speak to this ability of the world to transform to its core.
Emily Jones’ (b. 1988) work manifests from an interest in how humans position themselves in relation to the earth, and how environments interact with physical materials and incorporeal machines, such as legal systems and borders. The work communicates a sensitivity to the critical thresholds that structure and transform these biocultural terrains.
Tetsumi Kudo’s (1935–1990) post-war sculptures of mutant organisms in cages and wasted landscapes, made in the 60s and 70s, warn us of the transformative powers we humans have over the earth. Pollution and the consequences of nuclear war are also potential, contingent results of the interactions of matter.
Anne de Vries’s (b. 1977) sculpture series “Boids” investigate the emergent behavior of populations. The Nematode-like sculptures depict large religious or socio-politically motivated crowds. The emergent transformations of populations can also be simulated by artificial life programs such as the work’s namesake “Boids”, a flocking behavior algorithm. Hannah Wilke’s (1940–1993) work underscores the transformation of gender roles and the ability and necessity of society to co-opt its origins to meet new challenges. Wilke’s gum works when applied to her body resembled scarification and thereby presented an image different from the one defined by the norms sedimented in the west. It is a morphological self-determination indicative of the exaptive potential of consciousness, agency and equality.
Damon Zucconi’s (b. 1985) work “/, , , / (the Final Cut)” investigates the artefact of a narrative whose meaning has been continuously manipulated by a succession of edits... but that then was supposedly coming to a 'final' rest. A state of equilibrium Zucconi is skeptical about.
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