John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Bed-In for Peace, 1969, courtesy Fondazione Bonotto

Throughout the entire pop universe, perhaps there is no one better suited than John Lennon to personify the theme of this year’s festivalfilosofia. Love, in fact, is just as applicable to the private, intimate dimension – be it shared or communicated, out of need or choice – such as his love for Yoko Ono, as to Lennon’s musical and more generally artistic dimension. His pacifism, antimilitarism, the strength of his ideas transmitted through his body language and the hic et nunc of his performances need to be interpreted alongside his biographical vicissitudes, and that sentimental voyage which set sail on 9th November 1966 at the Indica Gallery in London, when during the opening of Yoko Ono’s solo show, the two met for the first time. The importance of this event, as is well known, was to entail a decisive change of tack in Lennon’s career. One of the consequences – little known to the general public – was the intensification of his production as a visual artist, which along with his drawings went hand in hand with his collaboration with Yoko and was very much in keeping with the anarchic spirit of Fluxus and its experimental use of video, actions and happenings. Among the works and documents displayed in the exhibition All you need is Love. John Lennon artist, actor, performer at Palazzo Santa Margherita, the series of lithographs entitled Bag One deserves special mention, not only for its quality but also for its extraordinary adherence to the
theme. A wedding gift for Yoko Ono, Bag One comprises a series of images, from the ceremony of 20th March 1969 to the following Bed-In in Amsterdam on 26th of the same month, featuring the most significant moments of their marriage, which itself was conceived and experienced as a work of art: “we are about to perform in many happenings, and marriage is one of these,” Yoko Ono declared candidly. John Lennon is the author of the literary contribution of this issue: the story told in verse titled The Toy Boy, published in 1965 in McCall’s magazine, and never before translated into the Italian language. For more on the renowned English artist and performer, come to the event entitled ‘Dedicated to John Lennon’ on Saturday 5th October at Palazzo Santa Margherita, coinciding with the ninth Contemporary Art Day.

Peace & Love
The Gallery Staff