The Other Rooms is a sequel to Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit, a now classic artist’s book that was first published in 1964 and became a cult classic following its wider distribution after 1970.
Matching the satisfyingly compact size of Grapefruit, and beautifully bound in white cloth, The Other Rooms is conceived as a series of rooms that unfold the story of, in the words of the artist, “the life of a woman seeing through the eyes of her son.”
On page after page, or room after room, Ono walks the reader through her unique expression of motherly utopian pedagogy, providing observations and instruction “pieces”. Other sequences simply describe imaginary rooms, and invite the reader to inhabit them, or suggest new approaches to tasks such as gardening, or to one’s hometown, all in the serenely open style for which Ono is so famed. The Other Rooms is joyfully interactive in this sense, finding ways “to open doors where there are no doors.”
Yoko’s preface, January 24, 2010:
An art exhibition of mine: ANTON’S MEMORY was exhibited in Venice in the year of the 2009 Biennale. The exhibition was six rooms, each room with installations of a woman’s life seen by her lover, husband, or son. Attached to those rooms were conceptual rooms and instructions in a form of a book called “other rooms.” Incidentally, I was fortunate to receive a lifetime achievement award in the same city that year. Y
Text on cover ribbon (hardcover version):
ANTON’S MEMORY of his mother, is glimpses of a woman who appeared to him sporadically through his childhood. Sporadically, because that is the nature of life. What he knew of her, therefore, was probably not much more than a handful of sand from her world left by her. But to him that was everything of his mother…a scorchingly haunting image of a woman, who disappeared step by step into oblivion, as he gained his own world in life.
Who was she? What was she thinking? I invite you to awaken her memory by interacting with her in these rooms and in THE OTHER ROOMS, to find ways to open doors to her where there are no doors. You may realize that her doors were your doors, and you were the one who left the rooms by only leaving a handful of dust from your world. You may realize that this time, you may want to leave more than the dust. Be a space transformer.
yoko ono Venice ‘09
This artist’s book is published as part of Yoko Ono’s exhibition Anton’s Memory at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Palazetto Tito, Venice, May 29 to September 20, 2009.
Wunternaum Press, New York
© Yoko Ono 2009
Available from Amazon.com