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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 24, 2008
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Warsaw Avant-Garde From Yoko Ono
September 24, 2008   
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The Center for contemporary Art (CSW) at Warsaw's Ujazdowski Castle is hosting the Fly exhibition by Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono.

Ono, the 75-year-old widow of John Lennon, is a filmmaker and peace campaigner who for over five decades has forged an international reputation as an original, experimental avant-garde artist. In the past, her creative pursuits have included conceptual and performance art. She has always been an independent explorer questioning the established concepts of art while doing away with the traditional divisions between individual disciplines. In her work, the cultures of East and West meet.

The exhibition at the CSW presents both old and new works, including objects, photographs, video art and installations, and the famous Fly film of 1970 showing a fly walking on a nude female body with soundtrack consisting of a vocal performance by the artist. The exhibition includes the Ex It pacifist work of 1997 comprising rows of coffins with trees growing out of them. All the works on show in Warsaw have been selected by the artist.

Ono encourages the interactive aspects of art. She invites visitors to take an active part in the creative process. During the opening in Warsaw, she asked the audience to join in a performance of switching on a torch and saying "I love you." As part of the "My Mommy is Beautiful" project, in one of the CSW rooms she placed a wall on which people can write their memories connected with their mother. The artist also smashed a china service and left it for the audience to glue together.

Ono also is also taking her works out to sites around Warsaw. In the Złote Tarasy (Golden Terraces) shopping center, she has introduced The Wish Tree on which you can hang up a wish put down on a piece of paper. Ono launched the international project 30 years ago. Today, 80 cities around the world have a "wish tree." Warsaw streets and metro stations also display Ono's posters with the famous simple, positive "Instructions" she has created since the mid-1950s, including "Follow the footsteps of the person before you" and "Try to behave quietly."


The exhibition is open through Oct. 26
Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (CSW), 2 Jazdów St. and public spaces around Warsaw
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