Yoko Ono calls for smiles in Manchester International Festival show

By Culture24 Reporter | 09 July 2013

Having asked audiences to bottle their tears last year, Yoko Ono is back on her participatory game.

A photo of a woman in profile
Yoko Ono's project to capture the smiles of the world has become part of the Manchester International Festival© Michael Lavine
As part of Do It 2013, Manchester Art Gallery’s playful part in the current Manchester International Festival programme, the artist and guardian of global positivity is continuing her campaign to persaude the public to provide photos of their grins online.

Ono’s is perhaps the most straightforward among a list of instructions issued by 21 artists including Erwin Wurm, Tacita Dean and Cory Arcangel.

Shilpa Gupta is asking respondents to describe their virtual, mental, philosophical and physical homes, and Hans-Peter Feldmann wants everyone to get in touch with an imaginary friend of their choice, found in flea market photos and then framed (“it’s important that you can assume this person is dead,” he advises).

The five-room exhibition has been specially commissioned by the festival, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist admits the instructions range from the absurd to the philosophical.

Ten Commandments by Gilbert and George, a web of bottles spun by Tracey Emin, Ai Weiwei’s instructions on defying surveillance cameras and tips on catching the Holy Ghost in a Shopping Mall – courtesy of Theaster Gates – also feature.


More pictures:

A photo of a security guard next to a gallery sign advising visitors to hum
© Joel Fildes
A photo of a man holding a vulture
© Joel Fildes
A photo of a sign saying sale and various red objects hanging in the air at a gallery
© Joel Fildes
A photo of a cleaning sign next to dustpans and brushes inside a gallery
© Joel Fildes
A photo of various items of clothing scattered across the floor of an art gallery
© Joel Fildes
A photo of sections of lemon on a plinth inside an art gallery
© Joel Fildes
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