Summer of Yoko

Location location: Sydney, Australia

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

“Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.  Just start thinking peace, and the message will spread quicker than you think.” – Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono is a legend.  She is a remarkable artist, musician and activist who has endured more personal struggles than most of us could imagine.  And yet, this fierce woman has always been and still is committed to find world peace.  Just look at the determination in her face here and here (I’m afraid my pose above just doesn’t compete!).

At age 80, Ono still kicking goals.  Her exhibition War Is Over! (if you want it) is currently exhibiting at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney this summer.  And it’s pretty damn good.

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

I know that contemporary art isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but this exhibition is really easy for anybody to appreciate and get involved in.  (After all, who doesn’t want world peace?!)  Many of the art works are participatory and invite you to become actively involved in doing something.

In the first room, you are invited to play a game of chess.  The chess pieces are all uniformly white…

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

Once play commences, the pieces merge and then it becomes difficult to distinguish whose ‘side’ you are on.

… Which was great for me because I was definitely losing this game.  This is the look of a girl with a competitive streak on the verge of sulking.

In the next room is an ordinary kitchen with a table, chairs, pots and pans, all suspended in a precarious balance by a magnet on the left side of the wall.   The moral is to always be influenced by a leftist internal magnetic force.  (No participation here, but you can nod or do a little fist pump in the air if you agree.)

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

Doors and Sky Puddles is the real star of the show.

There are multiple upright doors that float from the gallery floor, with sky puddles beside them and haiku poetry on the adjacent wall.  Ono once wrote that “Doors are just a figment of our imagination” – suggesting that we need the strength and courage to pass on through the barriers in our mind.

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  *Nobody, it’s all in your head.  So just open the door and go through!*

I won’t show you every room, because I don’t want to spoil the rest of it.

But I can’t keep a secret about the last few interactive pieces – they were the best fun and the most personal too.

First, stamp ‘peace’ on the city you love, in the language you want.

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

Next, write a personal message of love to your mother.

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

“Dear Mum, I’m still alive! Promise I haven’t crashed the car, run out of money or put on weight :)”

I think she will be satisfied with that letter.

Finally, just before you leave the exhibition, make a wish about where in the world you would like to travel to next.

war is over, yoko ono, museum of contemporary art, mca, sydney art

Not entirely on point, but those Louis luggage cases are just divine.  Fingers crossed that Mr Vuitton be granting my travel wish :)

War Is Over (if you want it) closes on 23 February 2014 so if you happen to be in Sydney, then you should definitely see it.  The exhibition is aesthetically impressive, extremely thought provoking and leaves you feeling energised about working towards a better future.

After the museum, we took a little stroll around Circular Quay and admired the Opera House.  Sydney Opera House turned 40 last year (they had a big party and even Princess Mary came to visit).  As they say, 40 is the new 30 so this beautiful building is in the prime of her life.  This scene is hardly new for me, but isn’t she just beautiful?

sydney opera house, travel blog

sydney opera house, travel blog

Oh I meant the Opera House, not me.  But thaaaanks I’m flattered you thought so 😉

sydney opera house, travel blog

sydney opera house, travel blog

sydney opera house, travel blog

sydney opera house, travel blog

sydney opera house, travel blog

War is Over! (if you want it): Yoko Ono
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
15 November 2013 – 23 February 2014
http://www.mca.com.au/exhibition/war-over-if-you-want-it-yoko-ono/

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