Lennon's sister calls for Yoko's 'offensive' art to be torn down
Saturday 25 September 2004
A provocative work of conceptual art by Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, has been branded "offensive" by the half-sister of the former Beatle.
The controversial work, entitled My Mummy Was Beautiful, features images of a woman's breast and crotch. The posters, which are dedicated to Lennon's mother, are on display on buildings across Liverpool as part of the Biennial art festival in the city.
Julia Baird, Lennon's half-sister, has complained the work is disrespectful to her mother, who died in a car crash aged 44.
Ono said it was initially about her own mother, but chose to dedicate it to Lennon's when it was decided to display it in the ex-Beatle's home town. "I remembered how John loved his mother, and it choked me up," she said.
Mrs Baird has urged the festival organisers to remove the posters, which are displayed on a church and a nearby street popular with shoppers. The posters that have caused most offence to Mrs Baird are displayed at St Luke's Church, which is soon to be inaugurated as a peace centre. The centre wanted to mark the event by displaying works by Ono, a prominent peace activist.
But, Mrs Baird said: "I find it totally offensive that you can use images of a breast and a vagina displayed all over the city, and then make the implied link with my mother. I have nothing against Yoko Ono as she was simply commissioned to do the work. The same images are on display at the Tate Gallery (in Liverpool's Albert Dock) and I don't have a problem with that, but the others I find upsetting and I would like to see them removed."
As one of the most original performance and installation artists of the 1960s, Ono is also viewed as one of the founders of conceptual art. Her ability to shock came to the fore in her film Bottoms, which showed the naked bottoms of people walking, while last year she was stripped to her underwear on a Paris stage by members of the audience as part her show Cut Piece.
Lewis Biggs, Liverpool Biennial chief executive, said Ono's work had been requested by St Luke's Church, which had made her one of its patrons, and would remain in place until the end of the festival on 28 November.
"I had no intention of offending anybody," said Mr Biggs, "but equally it has been very well received by some people who have found it has provoked thoughts of their relationships with their own mothers."
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...