Spreading Peace: Sydney's MCA Announces Major Yoko Ono Exhibition

Spreading Peace: Sydney's MCA Announces Major Yoko Ono Exhibition
Yoko Ono Cut Piece, 1964 Performed by the artist, September 15, 2003 Theatre Le Ranelagh, Paris Photo by Ken McKay © Yoko Ono

Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) has announced an exhibition of works by legendary artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono as part of the 2013–14 Sydney International Art Series.

Encompassing five decades of art works across media, the major survey titled War Is Over! (if you want it): Yoko Ono has been curated by Rachel Kent specifically for the MCA which will be the only Australian venue for the exhibition.

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE said: “We are thrilled to be presenting this major exhibition by one of the world’s most recognised artists and personalities. It offers Australians a rare opportunity to view the range of Yoko Ono‘s practice which takes the form of performances, sculpture and installation, written texts, films, sound compositions, and participatory art works that involve gallery viewers in a range of activities.”

The exhibition title comes from a text work by Ono and her husband John Lennon that first appeared in 1969 across public billboards in twelve cities worldwide, including New York and London. According to Ono’s website, “The WAR IS OVER! campaign was once a tiny seed, which spread and covered the Earth.  John and I believed it helped many people to stop their wars. Since then, every WAR IS OVER! campaign has impacted the world as powerfully as the first one.”

MCA Senior Curator Rachel Kent has worked collaboratively with the artist on the realisation of this major survey, its publication and international tour. Kent says, “The exhibition reaffirms Ono’s firm belief in the power of human agency – specifically, people’s ability to dream of and work towards a better future together.”

In a special recorded message announcing the Sydney exhibition, Yoko Ono says that: “I am very excited and honoured to have my first solo exhibition in Sydney in November 2013. It is an incredible new show I’ve developed just for you. There will be many fantastic installations and participation works from different times that I know you are going to love. Until then Sydney, think peace, act peace, spread peace. I love you.”

See Yoko Ono's message to Sydney below: