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Yoko Ono: THE RIVERBED
The Gardiner Museum is pleased to present a three-part installation by Yoko Ono entitled THE RIVERBED. Yoko Ono is a forerunner of Conceptual art who frequently involves collaboration, audience participation, and social activism in her artwork.
THE RIVERBED invites visitors to collaborate with the artist, the museum, and each other, participating in the artwork through everyday action and contemplation. THE RIVERBED, in a sense, becomes a temporary village—a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world.
Stone Piece features a pile of river stones that have been honed and shaped by water over time. Ono has inscribed some of the stones with words, such as dream, wish, and remember. Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the center of the room.
Line Piece is comprised of a series of low tables with notebooks in which visitors are encouraged by Ono to “draw a line to take me to the farthest place in our planet.” Visitors may also extend a string across the gallery space using hammers and nails to secure it from one point or another, creating a web that will grow and evolve over the course of the exhibition.
Mend Piece reinforces the idea of healing. Fragments of broken ceramic cups and saucers are placed on a table for visitors to reassemble using glue, string, and tape, before positioning them on shelves around the all-white room. 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.” (November 19, 2015)
The space also features a small coffee bar where visitors are encouraged to enjoy a cup of coffee together, forming another kind of union.
THE RIVERBED was first mounted at Gallerie Lelong & Co. and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City, in 2015.