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Yoko Ono Wants Your Stepladders


20 September – 30 November 2008

Call for public involvement as Liverpool Biennial commissions Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono’s work frequently consists of an invitation to participate in an act of the imagination. For MADE UP, Liverpool Biennial’s 2008 International exhibition, she invites visitors to donate stepladders to her project Liverpool Skyladders. Exhibited in the ruins of St. Luke’s Church, over the course of the Biennial a forest of stepladders will grow inside.

Yoko Ono invites the public to donate a stepladder for inclusion in a new work for Liverpool Biennial’s MADE UP exhibition. Over the ten weeks of the Biennial, with the public’s help, a forest of ladders will grow inside St. Luke’s Church. Liverpool Skyladders invites us all to find space for dreams and the imagination under the open skies.

(Sky)ladders, big and small, metal and wooden, new and old, can be delivered to St. Luke’s Church on
Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 September, between 11am and 5pm
Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 September, between 10am and 6pm

Following the Biennial, the artwork will be donated to charity.

For further information or to promise a (sky)ladder please contact:

Lewis Biggs Chief Executive of Liverpool Biennial said, “Liverpool Biennial’s commissions outside the gallery are a powerful way of involving the widest public, and have become one of the international exhibition’s best-loved features. This year’s bumper crop for MADE UP will be not only surprising and enjoyable, but will inspire further thought about how art can impact on the developing cityscape.”

A key figure in both the Fluxus and Conceptual Art movements of the 1960s and 1970s, Yoko Ono continues to work across a broad range of disciplines and media, including music, performance and installation. Her work frequently consists of an invitation to participate in an act of the imagination, whether in her instructional pieces such as Fly (2006) – a series of billboards and t-shirts simply printed with the message ‘Fly’; or more participatory pieces such as Wish Tree (1996) where visitors are invited to hang their wishes on a tree. In Ceiling Painting (1966), perhaps one of the best known of Ono’s early pieces, a text and a magnifying glass were suspended form the ceiling of the Indica gallery in London. Visitors who climbed the ladder to read the text were rewarded with the discovery that the text said ‘Yes’. The affirmative quality which characterised this early work, remains central to Ono’s current practice, demonstrated in her continued belief that through collective participation an act of the imagination can become a reality. Ono was commissioned for 2004 Biennial with her work My Mummy Was Beautiful.