In this iteration of the iconic installation Mend Piece (Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City version) (1966/2015), Ono proposes communal mending as an act of healing. In a seemingly simple white room, shattered cups and saucers are placed on a table. Participants are asked to bind the fragments together using common household items: twine, glue, scissors, and tape. The resulting creations are displayed on nearby shelves, evidence of the power of collective action. Secluded from the bustling world, Ono’s meditative environment inspires reflections on the tumultuous concerns of society, as well as personal struggles.
Conceived in the 1960s at a moment of rapid cultural transformation, this early example of participatory artwork still resonates strongly today. Mend Piece calls to mind the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. For Ono, a visitors’ small act of mending holds the potential to resonate at a universal scale. With straightforward directions, the artist asks participants to let go of pretension and consider larger ideas: “Mend with wisdom/mend with love./It will mend the earth/at the same time.”
Yoko Ono (b. 1933, Tokyo, Japan) is widely recognized for her pioneering conceptual art, which has encompassed performance, instruction, film, music, and writing. She has been the focus of major solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Guggenheim Bilbao, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Today, she continues to work tirelessly for world peace.
Presentation period: 12 weeks
Space and materials required (provided by each venue):
- Dedicated gallery or constructed space
- Custom-built Parsons table (48” wide x 120” long)
- 10 matching wooden chairs, painted white
- 2 or more custom-built, wall-bound shelving units
- White porcelain cups and saucers, broken into pieces
- Mending supplies
For booking information, contact Ilaria Conti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.988.7700 ext. 216.
Mend Piece is part of ArtRoom, an ongoing series of modern and contemporary art installations organized by the AFA.
ArtRoom makes immersive and experiential art available to a wide range of museums and audiences, while highlighting the work of diverse international artists. It is a resource for cultural institutions seeking to bring a spectrum of installation art to their audiences. The pieces in the series are meant to be experienced individually, rather than as a group exhibition. The AFA will facilitate the realization of each installation in order to ensure its success at each unique venue: liaising with the artist and/or originating collection and the venue; providing a detailed installation plan and equipment (as necessary); and providing guidance for production and installation.
Other works in the series: