April 29, 2009

Imagine

Last week I went to the Musee de Beaux Arts in Montreal to see the exhibition Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko. The exhibit celebrates the 40th anniversary of John & Yoko's bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal in 1969. It explores their musical, artistic, and political collaboration through drawings, photographs, videos, films, and interactive installations.

This was one of my favorite drawings, which shows them leaving Gibraltar shortly after their wedding. It's amazing how, in just a few squiggly lines, John managed to capture their essence.



These posters were displayed above the bed during the bed-in. It was while in the hotel room that they recorded the song Give peace a chance.


Contemplating the meaning of bagism. According to Yoko, bagism was inspired by the theme of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, which was "One sees rightly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes." She hoped that the bag, by hiding her and John's physical appearance, would make their essence or the essence of their message visible.



The lyrics to the song Imagine where largely inspired by the words in Yoko's book Grapefruit. “In it (Grapefruit) are a lot of pieces saying imagine this, imagine that,” he remembered. “Yoko actually helped me a lot with the lyrics, but I wasn’t man enough to let her have credit for it . . . I was still full of wanting my own space after being in a room with the guys all the time, having to share everything.” John Lennon


On the left is Yoko Ono's concept piece called Play it by trust. By painting the chess board and pieces a uniform white, players lose track of their pieces as the game progresses. Ideally this leads to a shared understanding of their mutual concerns and a new relationship based on empathy rather than opposition. On the right is the Wish Tree. As a child in Japan, Yoko would write her wishes on little pieces of paper that she would then hang on the branches of trees in temple courtyards. Here, she encourages visitors to do the same.

7 comments:

auxpaysdesmerveilles said...

This seems very interesting! I'd love to see the entire exhibition.

kribss said...

imagine is one of my favorite songs- thanks for sharing the inspiration!

Anita said...

just "imagine" no resistance in this life?...

Carol said...

I've always thought that Yoko was unfairly demonized so much over the years, when infact she had a very positive influence upon John.

Thanks for sharing this, it was very interesting :-)

Kristybee said...

Looks like a beautiful exhibit!

stacy marie said...

Stunning. I love how in capturing this art installation you gave it your own artistic touch and not only showed me how excellent this show is, but also in a way that is undeniably you.

Jennifer Squires Ross said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us! I quite enjoy the drawing, I feel like it gives me a sense of their personalities. I think I need to start a wish tree in my yard. It would beautifully add a sense of magic and wonder to the space.