Will **** for Peace
Performance and installation, 2002, 2003
Collaboration with Yong Soon Min
pdf

This was a re-staging of John and Yoko’s 1969 bed-in to protest the Vietnam War. Our restagings coincided with the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan and the later invasion of Iraq. Our intention was manifold, to create a forum for discussion about U.S. foreign policies, to reconsider the place of activism within art practices, and to pay homage to John and Yoko.

The piece was performed initially at the University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and subsequently at Oboro Gallery, Montreal, to coincide with the anniversary of John and Yoko’s original performance. The hotel where they stayed provided the bedding, and Yoko sent flowers for our opening.

The installation consisted of a soundpiece/sculpture as one entered the gallery. Mimicking Man Ray’s piece, “The Destruction of the World,” a metronome wearing a wig kept time on top of pillows, as a precursor to the bed-in itself. An audio of Give Peace a Chance was also playing backwards, sounding like a dirge or a Buddhist chant. The viewer then entered a larger gallery space, encountering sticks of incense stuck into the floorboards, resembling a forest but also grave markers. The gallery was also filled with the smell of the incense. On one wall was a continuous live projection of our bed-in, which also resembled the footage of the original. As the viewer walked further in, they saw in one corner, hidden from the entrance, the live performers and the actual bed-in. Behind the bed and covering the whole wall, was a mirror, so that the projection on the opposite wall was reflected along with the actual bed, the performers and the viewers, creating a continuous visual loop. Viewers were encouraged to engage in dialogue with the performers who always maintained their roles as John and Yoko.

(click for pdf of additional description of this project)

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