Category Archives: installation

The Yoko Experience

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In 1971, Syracuse Folklorist Dan Ward met someone (okay, it was a hitchhiker), which led to his first trip to Syracuse, New York to see James Taylor in concert at the War Memorial. Instead of acquiring tickets to that sold-out concert, he ventured across the street and was pulled through the door of the museum. Somehow he randomly became part of an elite group allowed to tour the Yoko Ono exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art, along with the artist and her husband John Lennon.

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The whole thing was documented on film and in the media. Dan Ward was a teenager living a serendipitous existence. There was a waterbed on the floor that evening, positioned to offer a unique view of the spiral staircase. He thought it was unusual but gave it a try – his first time on a waterbed and with a bed-bug (a Beatle). There were other interactive ingredients as well, some have been replicated for the retrospective/new exhibition, Yoko Ono: Remembering the Future, which opened last night. Every piece cultivated to reside harmoniously within the walls of I.M. Pei’s modern architecture. This show was meant to create a dialogue between viewer and artist with the viewer creating the closure.

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Yes, a stunningly beautiful Ono (according to Ward’s recollection – photographs never did her justice) and Lennon, and Ringo Starr were all there that night, as well as several of their close friends from Manhattan. It was a media circus focused on celebrity in a time when art was misunderstood and maligned.

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I wish I could have been there back then, too, wish I could have been that fly on the wall – to bear witness to perceptions of the past while remembering the future….

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Imagine a museum filled with objects – hammers, nails, string, ladders, piles of dirt, blue paint. Imagine a world where the viewer participates and the result is a collaboration between artist and you. Artist as conceptualist. You as executioner. You as artist too.

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Rachel Zoe dress, BCBGeneration sandals, Coach bag, Tashkovski bracelets

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It is what I do as a teacher. Okay, students – here’s the lesson, here are the supplies…. It is always so gratifying and almost strange in a way. Like – do this, and they say okay.

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This is the genius of Yoko Ono. It is a presence, a facilitator who loves her audience, who gives them an experience, a happening, a memory. Something to do. Museums are always a DO-NOT-TOUCH place, but here you can add string to the wall, hammer in a nail onto a piece of wood, paint part of a mural, be a part of something bigger than yourself that has no other meaning than what it is. Collective mark making. A chance to interact in a museum in a child-like manner and by that, I mean being totally present. Not thinking about anything else but the art – and not even thinking too hard about the how or the what, or the why.

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Because you are a part of the experience and your existence is relevant, necessary and needed. You matter. You are loved. You are welcome. You belong.

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Imagine that. ❤

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***from www.everson.org

On View August 31 – October 27, 2019

All my work is a form of wishing.
-Yoko Ono

For six decades, Yoko Ono has maintained an unwavering belief in art’s ability to transform, uplift, and inspire. Her work, typically ephemeral or participatory, occupies the porous boundaries between artistic disciplines, from music and film to sculpture, poetry, and performance art. Ono’s approach to art making is generous, and since emerging in New York’s downtown art scene in the 1950s, she has privileged collaboration over solitary authorship, inclusivity over isolation, and transience over permanence. These underlying precepts, which simultaneously undermine the capitalist structure of the art market and criticize the institutional model of the museum, also unified a postwar artistic movement known as Fluxus, of which Ono was an important contributor. For Ono, as well as later generations of artists and those currently engaged in social practice, art belongs to everyone, can be created by anyone, and has the potential to change the world.

Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933. A survivor of the trauma inflicted on Japan during World War II, she moved to the United States in 1953 during a period of surging nationalism, consumerism, and anti-Japanese sentiment. During this time, Ono became a central figure within New York’s downtown scene and became close collaborators with artist George Maciunas, the founder of Fluxus. Many avant-garde intellectuals, artists, composers, and writers gathered regularly at Ono’s Chambers Street loft for experimental performances by groundbreaking artists like La Monte Young, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Terry Jennings, Jackson Mac Low, Richard Maxfield, Henry Flynt, Joseph Byrd, Simone Forti, and Robert Morris. Here, Ono realized some of her earliest conceptual works that would greatly influence the trajectory of art, film, and music.

Ineffable, intangible, impermanent, Ono’s art, as a body of work, defies categorization. The term Wakon yosai (“Japanese spirit, Western technology”), the national slogan of modernization in Japan during the Meji era, might best describe Ono’s approach to life and art. Her works, conceptually linked to the form of musical scores, draw on sources as diverse as the history of classical and modern Japanese art and Zen Buddhism to early black-and-white cinema and classical music. Ono’s signature text-based scores date back to the early 1950s. In 1964, she published the scores in Grapefruit, her definitive text. The scores, as Ono explained in 2016, “are a bit like music scores which exist so anyone can play the composition. What I’ve imagined are art scores. Each visitor can take them up so that their own ‘music’ can be heard in my creations.”

Throughout the 1960s, Ono had significant solo exhibitions in the United States, Japan, and in England—including the AG Gallery in New York City and the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. She performed at the 83rd Fluxus Concert: Fluxorchestra at Carnegie Hall, In 1966, Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, exhibited her work at the Judson Church, and participated in the first Destruction In Art Symposium organized by Gustav Metzger in London. Ono met John Lennon when he visited her exhibition Yoko at Indica, at the Indica Gallery in London.

Following her marriage to Lennon in 1968, Ono was catapulted onto the world’s stage of fame and wide public visibility, a position she has brilliantly coopted to further her long-standing interest in the power of the imagination, human rights, and world peace.

Forty-eight years after the Everson hosted This is Not Here, Ono’s first museum retrospective, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE presents her enduring artistic work devoted to healing human connections and exposing social and political injustices. Spanning more than six decades from germinal early instruction pieces to recent, large-scale architectural installations, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE traces Ono’s experimental approach to language, art, and participation as a means of contributing to a more accepting and peaceful world.


YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is curated by DJ Hellerman, the Everson’s Curator of Art & Programs and Jon Hendricks, Ono’s long-time friend and curator in partnership with Yoko Ono, Studio One, and Susie Lim.

The operation of the Everson Museum of Art is made possible with funding from the
Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, the County of Onondaga administered
by CNY Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Richard Mather Fund, the Everson Board of Trustees and Everson Museum of Art Members’ Council.

YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is made possible, in part, through support from Bonnie and Gary Grossman, and Sollecito Landscaping Nursery.

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Motion Forward

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Summer is a time where time doesn’t matter to me.  I get up when I want.  I do what I want.  It is not slow or fast motion.  It is pure bliss.  Today was a bit wonky in that it was cloudy-ish – it rained last night and seemed like an indoor-all-day kind of day.  I worked on a fun, creative project, I practiced on piano, watched some TV (I cannot get enough of Million Dollar Listings on Bravo) then I noticed that it was actually nicer out than I thought.  So, I decided to go for a hike.  So satisfying!  When I returned, I stumbled upon information that there was going to be an art reception and I still had time to get ready to go!  Can someone hashtag #ootd fast enough?  Could this day get any better?  Yes and yes!

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Halston Heritage dress, Michelle DaRin Jewelry bracelets, BCBGMaxAzria sandals

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I was delighted.  For some reason I thought SU’s galleries went on summer hiatus but that is not the case with POC this time.

Syracuse University’s Point of Contact gallery is located in the Warehouse Building in Armory Square (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202).  It is primarily a space that features latin artists, although from time-to-time they curate other exhibitions, like the annual Sum Art show.

Time Changes Everything is the current exhibition.  Curated by Sara Felice, Managing Associate Director of the gallery, it features Margie Hughto, Beth Bischoff and Darcy Gerbarg with an art and video installation by Franco Andres in the back space.

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It is a magnificent show!  It was such a thrill to meet and speak with three of the artists.  I have met Margie Hughto before but this time – OMG, her new work is breathtakingly beautiful, the kind of thing that moves me to want to make art, moves me to the tears that form the essence of joy.  They are ceramic assemblages that sort of bridge the space between archeology and modernism.  Each piece is fired separately then the artist uses intuitive rhythm to create movement in each piece, a swirling that truly captivates.  Her inclination here is to showcase climate change.

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Darcy Gerbarg blends her history as an Abstract Expressionist painter with her knowledge of digital technology.  She has always been on the cutting edge in her field and these pieces are digital prints created by utilizing virtual reality software.  Like a conductor wielding her baton, she executes a rhythmic flow of movement that then gets translated into digitized color on a monumental scale.

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Beth Bischoff spent six years living in the Yucatan.  Her photographs of this landscape are taken with a unique panoramic camera then digitally printed.  The imagery created transports the viewer to a jungle habitat lost in time.  Again, the sweep of rhythm thrusts mightily, albeit in black and white.  It appears in tree branches and tall grass, as well as in the contrast of the stone facades.

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The time changing element to this show is that feeling of having been here in the present moment and everywhere simultaneously.  Time doesn’t stand still.  It swirls and dances upon the landscape of photograph, painting, print and bas-relief.  I feel changed for the better blessed by the momentum of art.

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If you would like to view this show and find out more about the 4th artist, Franco Andres, (I did not get the opportunity to meet/speak with him), the exhibition runs through August 9, 2019.  Point of Contact is open Monday – Friday 12 – 5 pm.  Call (315) 443-2169 for more information or visit the POC website at www.puntopoint.org ❤

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***From the gallery website

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING

MARGIE HUGHTO, BETH BISHOFF, DARCY GERBARG, FRANCO ANDRES

JULY 12 – AUGUST 9

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Each artist in Time Changes Everything battles the temporality of human existence and the material world constructed around it.

Bischoff’s photography expresses a harmony of the past and present depicting the ruins left in the world’s progression. Bischoff’s Ruins series functions as a reminder of the care our planet deserves.

Ceramist Margie Hughto draws inspiration from landfills and remains left by humans in the creation of her Excavation Series. Hughto’s work embodies the transience of the human experience in a world heavily structured by transitory material objects.

Bringing together numerous modes of digital art, Gerbarg forms The Syracuse Pictures. Her artwork abstracts the world into its own heterotopia, existing in both the past and present.

Andres realizes the difficulty of authenticity for artists as he utilizes an accumulation of mediums in the formation of one’s identity. The process of his artwork becomes a depiction of time and change as his work spans from ancient processes to contemporary modes of video.

These four distinct artists come together in “Time Changes Everything” to pose a larger challenge to the viewers through the ultimate tool, their artwork.

Time Changes Everything will be on view through Aug. 9th.

 

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Come This Way or That Way

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The five pieces that make up this whimsical installation by Abraham Ferraro of Albany, New York, are the reason children grow up to be artists.  (What kid didn’t have a sticker collection in the ’80s – am I right, people?)  Arrows wrapped in brightly colored postal tape direct viewers towards this behemoth labyrinth of recycled cardboard and stickers.  You can’t take a bad picture – every angle is perfection.  It is just so incredibly fun!  There is this feeling of discovery, the idea of packages – think Willie Wonka meets Amazon Prime via the U.S. postal service.

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It is located in the main gallery space at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, the featured items in a three-person show called Made and Remade:  Re-Imaging Industrial Systems and will be on display until August 18, 2019.  The other artists in this exhibit are Landon Perkins of Bentonville, AR and Sherri Lynn Wood of Cincinnati, OH.

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Apparently, Ferraro mailed the boxes and arrow-shaped sculptures to the Schweinfurth then added more tape and arranged them to create the eye-popping playground-like display.

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Tonight was the gallery’s First Friday event.  In addition to viewing the artwork, browsing the gift shop and enjoying delicious snacks, there was a free re-purposed art project (creating a self-watering planter from a wine bottle) set up in the basement – led by my friend Davana Robedee, Program Coordinator.

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Michelle DaRin Jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria dress and sandals

The next First Friday will be August 2, 2019.  Edgy Folk will perform.

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SCHWEINFURTH ART CENTER
(315) 255-1553
205 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY 13021
mail@schweinfurthartcenter.org

HOURS
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5 pm
Closed major holidays and during exhibit installations.

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