QUITO – An interactive art exhibit featuring the work of Yoko Ono opened this week in the Ecuadorian capital, inviting visitors to “feel” her abstractions through their own experiences.
“Free Universe” features 60 pieces by the Japanese conceptual artist showcased across five galleries of the colonial Metropolitan Cultural Center, in Quito’s historic district.
The collection includes objects and installations, as well as video and sound art created by Ono since the 1960, which come with instructions for visitors to complete and interpret the experience.
“Her entire work has to do with this conception of small, everyday acts,” exhibition curator Agustin Perez told EFE. “One can visit the exhibit rooms, read (the instructions) and still not participate. That’s OK, but there won’t be a work of art that way.”
One of the items consists of a blank canvas with a hole at the bottom, inviting visitors to “have conversations using their hands,” while another encourages spectators to come together to cast a single shadow upon a white wall.
The widow of former Beatle John Lennon had originally planned to open the exhibit in the Ecuadorian capital in June, but had to push the date back due to health issues.
Ono shares the space with 12 Latin American artists – half of whom are locals – with works addressing the concept of water conservation.
“Agua” (Water) gathers pieces by artists such as Ecuador’s Raul Rosero, whose work includes a filter made of volcanic rock, which he dedicates to his son Nikola, making the case for a “future of shortage.”
Ono’s retrospective ends with a blunt message, urging visitors to dare to dream.
Three mytle trees represent the “Wishing Trees,” whose branches display thousands of hopes and dreams written on bits of paper, which are part of the “Free Universe” that the residents of Quito have the chance to explore.