Democrats left out of talks
Painting to See the Skies: Yoko Ono

Promise Piece: Yoko Ono

Conceptual Art

From Grapefruit: A book of instructions and drawing.


"This was first performed in Jeanetter Cochrane Theatre in London, 1966. Yoko Ono, as the last piece of the night, broke a vase on the stage and asked people to pick up the pieces and take them home, promising that they would all meet again in ten years time with the pieces and put the vase together again."

Can you call this "beautiful?" Is this Art?



There is something cool about the vase idea, putting it all back together 10 years later, everyone meeting up again. It would actually be interesting to know how many people actually did meet up ten years later.
As for the Jeff Koon stuff, I wouldn't call it beautiful. I don't have any knowledge on what makes something art or not. I can't imagine having the plastic "jeff on top" peice in my living room, although no doubt it would be a conversation starter!


Yeah, I don't think it's very "Living room" material although many people have stuff like that in their living room but more in the form of video or DVDs. I find most of it just plane creepy, I find Koons Creepy!! but I also apreciate them and his work in the way that it makes me think and see stuff from a different perspective.

As for Yoko's piece. I wondered that when I read it, but I see it was done in 1966, so if they did meet up, I am sure it would have been placed in the book as it was reprinted in the 1990s. I guess with all of yoko's work it has more to do with "idea" than reality. Like "What does making a promise mean?" "Do you have to live up to it?" Maybe the piece also changed through time, as in "Promises are broken."

I like her stuff. I feel very sorry that she was never lauded as the grandmama of performance art she is. Well, in the last few years she has been, having major retrospectives and even having a hit dance record. But at the time she was so vilified for being a "Jap" that broke up the beatles!! (Much like Courtney is said to have killed Kurt!!) what's wrong with men falling in love with smart women who have their own ideas?? Huh??

I mean some of the most interesting stuff John Lennon did was after he met her, just it was no longer "Commercial" it was more "Conceptual" and "experimental." I mean everyone remembers the "bed in" and the naked record covers. All Yoko, she was a very serious artist in her own right.. they met at her show.

Supposedly she had an apple sitting on a podium, with the price marker of $500 in a London gallery (talk about putting every day objects in a museum BEFORE warhol) and John lennon walking up to it and taking a bite out of it! (Talk about reappropiating art before warhol!). Well the two of them were so before their time...



Then again, you can say the two of them Helped "Define" a time, or even yet, "Create" the time with their work and bringing a new perspective to the general public.

Now what would it be like to be able to not only be able to "capture" the time and place you are in, but be able to shape and morph it!

Oh my god, I am supposed to be writing a piece about this for a group project!! Man I hope I have not forgetten the deadline and to send in my proposal!!

Get to work Yan!!



Mike: art is not what you put in your living room, that would be 'decoration' - or, at least, applied art. Art is what you put in a museum.

I can see some of the relevance of the vase - if someone dies and can't come they literally leave a gap. But apart from that, what are the people supposed to do when they come back? They were strangers the first time and they will be the second. What will it mean? They will have their life stories to tell but in what way will it be different from a bunch of strangers pulled off the street?

Not that I have a problem with conceptual art, I just don't see the articity in this one.


I can't agree that art is what you put in a museum. It seems so utterly removed from realities and life, although a lot of the pieces now can only be placed there. But most art we know as "art" was NEVER made to be placed in museums, and they were in fact for people's homes, or clubs etc. In fact it's a huge problem that people view art as things they only put in museums. You're such an art snob Harald!!!!

As for the promise peice. It's not about the future and what happens in ten years, in fact it's irrelevant. Like Mike and I we mused about what would happen and if it would happen and that's the concept of the piece. Bringing the future to the now. The act of the promise and what those words and ideas contains. It has something to do with participation too. Bluring the lines of the "artist" and the "Audience" this was 1966. Still a new idea then.


I knew it when I wrote it. It's a quote from someone desperately trying to define what art is in one sentence. But much art is only fit for museums - that's why they made the Bilbao Guggenheim so big -> so they could fit in all that huge art.

It's irrelevant? Then why not just give the pieces away and say goodbye? Has making a promise without caring about what happens in the future the same value as when you do care about that? Not much of a promise if you don't. The idea behind a promise is that you'll try to keep it. Not to influence the now. Promises are not short term things. That would take you to the land of lies and cheats.


>That would take you to the land of lies and >cheats.

Which I would say sumarizes much of the "art world!" aha! ;P


Harald: Yeah I know art isn't just something you chuck in your living room, but art isn't just for museums either. I guess it depends on the type of art but as i'm not really a student of the arts I can't make an intelligent comment (bugger! oh wait a second, that hasn't stopped me before). I guess any art that attracts my attention is art aimed at the people, not the sort of elitist art that ordinary people never get the chance to see or understand.

Yan, that's a cool story about John Lennon biting the apple. About the promise piece, I guess it's about people sharng an experience, like you said breaking down the barriers between artist and the audience. Even if they were strangers, they could meet up and say "oh yes I was there, I still have my peice" or " i lost my bit" and they would have a point of reference from that point in time. I guess that's what good art does, as you said somewhere above, it makes you think of things from different points of view,or it suprises you.


Strange how when you try to say something sensible about - say - football, nobody uses words like 'snob' or 'elitist', but with art...


When it comes to football I use the word "bore" :P



Now I have to write about football ( - just to bore you even more :P

james snitily

Doe's anyone know what happened 10 years later with the vase Yoko broke. I and many others are tring to find some more resent infomrmation


Sorry I don't know. but if you ever find out i would so apreciate it if you let me know.


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