This is just an apple

Yoko Ono with Apple, 1966 at the press preview for Yoko Ono- One Woman Show, 1960-1971, photo by Ryan Muir
Yoko Ono with Apple, 1966 at the press preview for the exhibition Yoko Ono- One Woman Show, 1960-1971 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015
Photo: Ryan Muir

A bright green apple spotlighted on top of a tall plexiglas pedestal would have been the first object that you would have seen upon entering the exhibition titled Yoko Ono: one-woman show, 1960-1971. The show, which was held at the Museum of Modern art in New York, was created to give visitors a glimpse of Yoko Ono’s international avant-garde and off-kilter art that was made in the ‘60s.

The Yoko Ono exhibition was co-curated by Christophe Cherix and Klaus Biesenbach and was held in one of MoMA’s most prestigious 6th floor galleries. More than 100 vintage works represented the best of Yoko Ono’s career in art, which was overshadowed for a long time by her pop icon husband, John Lennon.

In the 1960s, which is when Yoko Ono’s created some of her prolific pieces, Yoko was a groundbreaking and influential artist in both London and New York. Her persona as a radical artist influenced the Fluxus movement, which was a movement that consisted of trickster and performance artists.

Apple was one of the first Yoko pieces on display in the gallery. The piece featured an actual Granny Smith placed on top of a clear glass stand with a small brass plaque labeled ‘APPLE.’ The glass stand was created to shift the audience’s attention away from the main presentation of the art object (the apple) to the passage of time.

The passage of time in the piece was marked by the decay of the apple and its periodic renewal through the course of the exhibition. Yoko placed a small brass plate on the glass to act as a counterpoint to the impermanence of the apple. Some also state that the brass plate was created to challenge audiences not to take the apple literally but merely to accept the simplicity of the piece.

According to Yoko Ono, the decaying of the apple and the decision of whether to replace the apple or not was what was supposed to move audiences. To fully understand Ono’s conceptual works, visitors had to approach them as the thought experiments that they were. For many years, her thought experiments, much like Apple, were created to alter one’s sense of power and spiritual orientation.

Yoko Ono with her artwork Apple at the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Yoko Ono- One Woman Show, 1960-1971, in New York, 2015, photo by Lucas Jackson:Reuters
Yoko Ono with Apple, 1966 at the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Yoko Ono- One Woman Show, 1960-1971, in New York, 2015
Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Yoko Ono - Apple, 1966
Yoko OnoApple, 1966, Plexiglas pedestal, brass plaque, apple, 114.3 × 17 × 17.6 cm

Yoko Ono - Apple, 1966
Yoko OnoApple, 1966, Plexiglas pedestal, brass plaque, apple, 114.3 × 17 × 17.6 cm

Yoko Ono - Apple, 1966, installation view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015
Yoko OnoApple, 1966, Plexiglas pedestal, brass plaque, apple, 114.3 × 17 × 17.6 cm, installation view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015

Yoko Ono - Apple, 1966, installation view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015, photo Anne Wermiel
Yoko OnoApple, 1966, Plexiglas pedestal, brass plaque, apple, 114.3 × 17 × 17.6 cm, installation view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2015
Photo: Anne Wermiel

 

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