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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:00 AM

No wonder John loved her.

Yoko Ono: "Stairway to Abuse" (Installation, 1968)
From the catalog of her retrospective one-woman show at London's Indica Gallery three years later:

Stairway to Abuse was a painting hung so high up on the wall that that those who wished to see it had to climb up a ladder (which was positioned directly underneath the painting). Upon climbing the ladder, one saw what appeared to be a blank canvas with a magnifying glass attached. Upon closer inspection, the canvas wasn't blank -- there was writing on it. The writing was so small, however, that it required the magnifying glass to be read.

One by one, spectators would climb up the ladder, peer through the magnifying glass, mutter words of amazement, look through the magnifying glass again (as though they hadn't believed it the first time), then climb down the ladder slowly and thoughtfully.



The message, when legible under the glass, was as follows:

YOU IDIOT!
You'll do anything anybody tells
you to do, won't you? You'll even
climb up a ladder in an art gallery!
Don't you have anything better to do?


No wonder John loved her.
http://powerpop.blogspot.com/2013/02/yoko-ono-stairway-to-abuse-installation_12.html

7 replies, 1158 views

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:06 AM

1. It is so hard to change the intractable beliefs of youth. nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:11 AM

2. If you liked that - You'll love this...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

3. No one climbed the ladder out of curiousity? not because anyone "told" them to? or maybe

because they like climbing ladders?

Not that her point isn't a valid one for some people, just that it's kind of abusive of the various individual reasons people might do something like that and I guess I'm saying I won't see it her way just because she tells me to.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:33 AM

4. I don't know why but that reminds me of something at work

There is a door that requires a badge to get through. I've been badging through for about 7 years and seen hundreds of others do it too. Last week I forgot my badge at home and I was ready to go home when I got to that door. I was befuddled, until on a whim, I pushed the door. It opened. No alarm. No nothing.

I almost busted my spleen over that. Talk about a bunch of mindless drones.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:00 PM

7. i loved this story. Makes you wonder.... nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:38 AM

5. I am sorry but I have to disagree, John initially drawn to her for being positive

He liked the installment YES, even commenting had it been nasty or negative he would not have continued on.

"To say that Yoko Ono had a profound effect on John Lennon and the Beatles is an understatement. Her first exhibition in London was at the Indica Gallery, a trendy shop frequented by the Beatles and originally started with the backing of Peter Asher, brother of Paul's girlfriend Jane. John visited Indica on November 7, 1966. He climbed a ladder to view the word "yes" through a magnifying glass tied to a string and hanging from the ceiling. He would later say that this particular exhibit caught his attention because the word was positive."

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Response to SQUEE (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:58 AM

6. Yes, thank you.

YES was the installation that caught Lennon's eye.

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