Advertisement for Museum of Modern (F)Art 1971

Gallery 306

For this very ironic and subversive work Yoko Ono announced her solo exhibition at the MoMA in New York in an ad in The Village Voice. In the corresponding film, pedestrians are interviewed in the street and asked whether they have seen Ono’s exhibition at the MoMA, to which most respond with something like “no, but I plan to”. The subversive action continues: Ono describes the alleged opening of a container full of perfumed flies—with the same volume as her own body—in the middle of the MoMA garden. Photographs in the corresponding book “document” all of the places in New York visited by the flies, including well-known art scene locations, such as Jasper John’s studio on the lower east side. By making them both a backdrop for the presentation of her concept, Ono occupies in a sense with this imaginary exhibition the world’s most famous art museum—at which, until 1971, only very few solo exhibitions of the work of female artists not to mention contemporary artists, had ever been presented—as well as “her” city of New York.