Yoko Ono: £12k Beach Pebble Stolen from Museum Installation In Canada

Stolen Yoko Ono

A hand inscribed beach pebble created by the Conceptual artist Yoko Ono valued at $17,500 has been stolen from a Toronto museum. The rock carries the words “Love Yourself,” and was part of a three-part interactive installation titled Yoko Ono: The River.

A woman allegedly “just picked it up and walked away with it”

Ms Ono used stones polished by water and time and inscribed different phrases on each. The museum’s website describes the exhibition as, “Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the centre of the room.” Toronto police media officer Gary Long told The Star that the suspect “just picked it up and walked away with it.”

Due to the interactive nature of the exhibition, the museum warns the number of visitors permitted in the space at any one time will be limited. There may be a wait to gain entry during busy periods.

The Gardiner Museum is presenting a three-part installation by Yoko Ono entitled THE RIVERBED. Yoko Ono is a forerunner of Conceptual art who frequently involves collaboration, audience participation, and social activism in her artwork.

The exhibition invites visitors to collaborate with the artist, the museum, and each other, participating in the artwork through everyday action and contemplation. YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED, in a sense, becomes a temporary village—a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world.

CC TV Footage of Suspect Wanted By Toronto Police
CC TV Footage of Suspect Wanted By Toronto Police

Stone Piece features a pile of river stones that have been honed and shaped by water over time. Ono has inscribed some of the stones with words, such as dream, wish, and remember. Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the center of the room.

Line Piece is comprised of a series of low tables with notebooks in which visitors are encouraged by Ono to “draw a line to take me to the farthest place in our planet.” Visitors may also extend a string across the gallery space using hammers and nails to secure it from one point or another, creating a web that will grow and evolve over the course of the exhibition.

Mend Piece reinforces the idea of healing. Fragments of broken ceramic cups and saucers are placed on a table for visitors to reassemble using glue, string, and tape, before positioning them on shelves around the all-white room. In Ono’s words: “As you mend the cup, mending that is needed elsewhere in the Universe gets done as well. Be aware of it as you mend.” (November 19, 2015)

The space also features an espresso bar courtesy of illy where visitors are encouraged to enjoy a complimentary cup of espresso together, forming another kind of union.

YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED was first mounted at Gallerie Lelong & Co. and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City, in 2015.

Yoko Ono (born February 18, 1933) is an artist, musician, filmmaker, and peace activist. In the last sixty years, Ono has continued to play a pioneering role in the international development of Conceptual art, experimental film, and performance art, and has been acknowledged progressively more for these roles. In 2015, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1961-71, which reinforced her influence as one of the most important agents of cultural change. She received a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale in 2009, and the Oskar Kokoschka Prize in 2012, Austria’s highest award for applied contemporary art.

YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED Thu Feb 22 to Jun 03 – Gardiner Museum Toronto, Ontario Canada, M5S 2C7