Yoko Ono's 1966 Artwork Returns to London
01 Sep 2021
Yoko Ono's interactive artwork, MEND PIECE
, is currently being exhibited at London's Whitechapel Gallery until January 2022. Visitors are invited to become active participants in the work, which displays fragments of broken pottery as well as materials to repair the broken items. Ono's instructions to the visitors is to 'Mend carefully. Think of mending the world at the same time.' Once the objects have been put back together, they are displayed on a set of nearby shelves.
The work was first presented in 1966 as Mending Piece I in London and now, more than 50 years later Ono has invited people to think again about her message of peace. Curator Cameron Foote compared the current work with the one first displayed at the countercultural Indica Gallery.
'Back in the Sixties, her whole idea was to create art that wasn't about being bought and sold - it was about concepts and ideas and instructions. [Now] our thinking was about divisive politics - Brexit, the far right in America.' - Cameron Foote
On Twitter, Ono explained
the metaphor behind the artwork:
'In this artwork, the physical act of repair becomes a timely metaphor for a different kind of mending which takes place in the mind through community.' - Yoko Ono
For decades, Ono has continued to spread her message of peace through her artworks and activism. In her limited edition with Genesis Publications, Infinite Universe At Dawn
, her life's work is celebrated and the message that we have the power to change the world is central. Like many of her artworks, elements of the book are interactive, including a die-cut 'Hole to See the Sky'. Referencing the book, Ono explains, 'This then, will be your first voyage made intentionally to create your own conceptual world. Have fun.'