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100 Acorns - 100 Days of Conceptual Instructions by Yoko Ono 100 Acorns - 100 Days of Conceptual Instructions by Yoko Ono
by Alexandra Pereira
2008-06-10 08:20:09
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Grapefruit, the book of conceptual instructions by Yoko Ono, was first published in 1964, 44 years ago. Grapefruit was an incredibly humoristic, provocative, refreshing and sometimes poetic book, with conceptual instructions and drawings by Yoko Ono. Yoko, together with John, instructed the readers to burn the book after reading it. “This is the greatest book I’ve ever burned,” John stated.

2_02In “Painting for the wind”, for example, she instructs the reader to “Make a hole. / Leave it in the wind.” We know instinctively that it will produce music, and that’s the most wonderful thing about it. The whole concept of art and most core questions of aesthetics float instantly in our mind, as well as the connections between what is visual and musical, and the question: “How would a painting for humans be made?” (“but we know that after all, don’t we? We have seen so many paintings in our life, after all! We know, don’t we?”), or just the final surrender feeling: “What a wonderful metaphor for what painting and art truly are!”

3_01In “Pea Piece” (pun on "peace" or "pee"), she writes: "Carry a bag of peas. / Leave a pea wherever you go.”, and the territorial fights and demarcation signs (including the ones dogs use) come right away to our mind, just as their relations with War and Peace. “Wall Piece for Orchestra” instructs the reader like this: “Hit a wall with your head”. “Well, it can prevent you from attacking someone else, at least”, the reader thinks. “And is your head the Orchestra? – how beautiful!” She forces the reader to think with his own head and develop abstract, serious and creative paths of thought through laughter and frequent smiles. That’s the most remarkable achievement of Grapefruit.

On June 15th 1968, 40 years ago, at Coventry Cathedral, John & Yoko planted two acorns for peace, and that was the first of many peace events promoted by the couple.

In the summer of 1996, Yoko Ono decided to write 100 Acorns, and continue her previous work. Starting on the 15th of June 2008, exactly 40 years after the Acorn Peace Event took place in Coventry, Yoko Ono will publish an “Acorn” every day during 100 days at the following website: http://100acorns.blogspot.com

She is inviting everyone to question, discuss and communicate their thoughts on each of the “Acorns” published. Take your chance.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-10 09:59:44
To plant seeds of peace is indeed a wonderful imaginative metaphor, one sorely needed by a cynical complacent Machiavellian post-modern world that thinks itself “enlightened” because it has disposed of some of its most sacred heritages and does not even know it, and ends up in conflicts and wars galore. We now live in times when men shout “give war a chance” and run for president. That metaphor bursting on the sad reality or our brave new world is redolent of the same as found in a novel by Ignazio Silone and aptly titled The Seed beneath the Snow. Its protagonist and hero Pietro Spina (also found in two previous novels: Fontamara and Vino e Pane, constituting a trilogy) speaks of an elusive “conspiracy of hope” and utters these enigmatic words at one point of the novel: “A seed of wheat beneath the snow is a poor thing; we might tax it with not having the value of a bomb or a pearl." Food for thought, still lying under the cold snow perhaps, but unlike a bomb or a pearl, ready to burst in its full glory at springtime. Let’s give time to time.


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