Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Signs of the Times

 War Is Over!, Billboard, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1969

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's song, Happy Christmas (War Is Over) has become a holiday standard covered by a multitude of artists from Jimmy Buffet to Yo-Yo Ma but the song was originally inspired by a 1969 art project opposed to the Vietnam War. John Lennon, the well known Beatle and Yoko Ono, a seasoned avant guard artist combined forces to stage a series of performance art events for peace.  They rented billboards and put up posters in cities around the world proclaiming, War Is Over!, If You Want It.

 War Is Over! Yoko Ono and John Lennon, 1969

War is Over! signs appeared December 1969 simultaneously in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Helsinki. Said John, "We specifically did the poster event around the world for Christmas to try and get at least one plug in for peace on earth at Christmas because that's what it's about. Peace on Earth, that implies no violence, no starving children, no violent minds, no violent households, no fear."

See Yoko Ono's website: Imagine Peace

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