Yoko Ono originally gained notoriety as a member of the Fluxus art movement of the swinging 60’s. As part of the establishment’s on-going mission to remove concerns like technical prowess and coherence from art, Fluxus was celebrated as a Dada do-over, yet another challenge to the stuffy idea that art involves the skillful creation of a tangible object.
In addition to promoting conceptual art, the Fluxus community was identified by founder George Maciunas as a radical leftwing movement, dedicated to spawning art communes modeled after the glorious collectivist farms of the Soviet Union. When attempted, these ventures predictably failed to thrive.
Yoko made a name for herself with pieces like Cut, a performance where she invited the audience to strip her naked by strategically snipping off her clothes. Once she caught the eye of activist Beatle John Lennon, Yoko was able to withdraw to a comfortable life of privilege, far removed from the strains involved in creating artworks like Apple (an apple placed on a box-when it rots away, it is replaced with another apple. Repeat indefinitely).
Yoko added her avante-garde vocal stylings to Lennon’s recordings, wailing like Woody Woodpecker hammering away at John Cage’s skull, while occasionally referencing her past artistic triumphs (limited edition bronze Apple, anyone?) But one can’t coast on reputation forever, so in the the spirit of mushy multicultural Londonistan’s take on the Olympics, Yoko has been trotted out as a Post Modern Old Master.
Her new work “To The Light” consists mainly of three heaps of dirt, a faded vintage War Is Over poster, and lots of hype around the empty slogan “Imagine Peace,” which is conveniently available on commemorative towels and water bottles .
One can only wonder if the victims of Soviet collectivism are part of the fallen she is so hamfistedly homaging.