Until 9 September 2012
Some people regard this pixie-like artist as an important, impressive and inventive figure in the art scene. Others find her work twee, clawing and coy.
Some may find her messages about war and peace profound, provocative and progressive. Others may regard her ‘wish tree’, where visitors are encouraged to write down wishes and tie them on a tree, almost childish, with a fortune-cookie kind of philosophy.
Some may find her enormous all-white chess-board a statement about the state of the world and where peace should be given a chance, but others might argue that it wouldn’t look out of place in a country pub garden. Others may find her paricipatory project of getting people to freely upload and send their smiles by mobile phones and computers to the world, redolent of child-like innocence.
She said: ‘Each time we add our smiles to #smilesfilm, we are creating our future, together. Give us your smile! I love you!’ Certainly, Three Mounds is a powerful piece, with a label, Country A, Country B, Country C, on each pile of earth, and the impact is made more poignant by the presence of soldiers’ helmets from WWII hanging upside-down and filled with jigsaw-puzzled faces.
Her early films, like FLY, 1970, where a fly explores a woman’s body, getting entangled in her pubes, or scaling a precipitous nipple or lips, and Film No. 4 (Bottoms), 1967, in which she filmed a bum for every day of the year, are both engaging and watchable.
Then there is a film called Smile, 1968, which features John Lennon, the man who effectively launched Yoko Ono onto the world stage, smiling at the camera. Charming.
The centrepiece is a perspex maze, called, unsuprisingly Amaze, into which three shoeless people at a time are let loose. It is more difficult than it looks to negotiate the way to the centre, where there is a pool of water reflecting one’s face. Then we are back to tweedom, with a ladder leading to a tiny sign on the ceiling above, which, through a magnifying glass, one reads ‘Yes.’ O no! Playful or puerile? You decide.
Photo by Sophie Spens