Cover image of the review
Installation view of Yoko Ono’s work I LOVE YOU EARTH on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Yoko Ono, I LOVE YOU EARTH (2023)

30 Mar 2024
National Gallery of Victoria | NGV International 3 Dec - 7 Apr 2024

Over the last few months, while walking south along St Kilda Road over Princes Bridge, you might have spied a large outdoor banner. It’s a horizontal rectangle of white, not dissimilar in scale to a drive-in screen. In all-caps and a discreet font, it says “I LOVE YOU EARTH.” Along the bottom edge, centrally positioned in a considerably diminished font size and in lowercase: “yoko ono 2023.” For the art-savvy portion of the Melbourne public, this banner vibrates at the intersection of Minimalism, Fluxus, and Concrete Poetry. But art these days needs no grounding in anything other than an audience’s own sense of self, so for many the banner will glow warmly in the Venn diagram enclosure of Marie Kondo, Chanel and Greta Thunberg. While it’s easy to buzz-kill the “curated experience” the public enjoys as they wander past this banner­—Yoko Ono’s I LOVE YOU EARTH (2023)—I’m more interested in how it performs as signage, and how its momentary occupancy of public space offers a portal into a fascinating and perplexing realm, one far more than its self-tagged, interventionist gesture allows.

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