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owko69 (Owen G. Parry)

Tags: #YokoOno #onocode #performance #art #fanfic #artworld #AU #manifesto #marathon #pregnantjohn #FanRiot


Yoko kept us waiting at the Serpentine Gallery outdoor pavilion in Hyde Park for almost an hour. We were all held in this temporary structure designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry, where the Manifesto Marathon was taking place over the course of a prematurely cold autumn weekend. Gallery stewards handed us little souvenir torches they called ‘Onochord’ with the initials Y.O engraved on them and informed us to wait for further instruction.


After much anticipation and checking the time on our phones, a diamond shaped light appeared in the sky over nearby Knightsbridge and we knew immediately it was Yoko. She was arriving by helicopter. The aircraft landed right next to the pavilion. A spotlight scanned the audience and landed on its door, which immediately swung open allowing Yoko to dismount in a Swarovski encrusted top hat and her signature glasses. The curator limped over to the aircraft with a big German smile, and what appeared to be a wooden leg. He greeted Yoko and took her straight to the stage. Then, with no introduction, and by her own accord, Yoko took out her little Onochord, and using Onocode (a colloquial language not unlike Morse-code, but developed across a span of more than fifty years of conceptual art practice) she gave us the instruction we had all been waiting for:


I/ love/ you

flash/ flash flash/ flash flash flash


We didn’t know if Yoko really meant it, or whether she just wanted us to tell her that we loved her back, which we did anyway:


            flash/ flash/ flash/ flash/ I/ love/ you/ Yokey-poo.


Then, just like that, Yoko hit play on the PA sound system and an unidentified drum and bass track began to thump through the speakers. I wasn’t sure if it was a track from her 2008 ‘Yes, I’m a Witch’ remix album, a remix of the outro or intro, or an entirely new track? It definitely resembled a snippet of a sound score she once used in her 1968 ‘Fly on my Bum’ video - the one in which at 3.33 she walks into the frame wearing no. 7 American tan tights eating a stick of celery, and where John is continually stoned because this was pre- The Beatles’ ‘White Album’, and after John’s second pregnancy. In any case, there were definitely no tan tights and no celery in this performance.


Yoko climbed off the stage and proceeded to dance amongst us in the audience for the duration of the four-minute track. Everyone in the pavilion was trying to dance next to Yoko, who was dancing wildly for someone in her eighties who had just literally flown in. When the track ended, Yoko got back onto the stage, told us she loved us again in Onocode (which we had all by now fully acquired), and waited for us to reciprocate, which we all did.


Yoko Infinity



We all loved Yoko, and then she got back into the helicopter, and continued flashing at us through the window on this starry night. We all stood there and watched her fly away with tears in our eyes and the wind from the propellers in our hairs... –

#cut4yoko by Owen G. Parry was included in The Arts' Guide To Fandom, a zine created by Megan Vaughan for No Boundaries 2017, a symposium about the role of arts and culture in modern society that took place on 28-29 March 2017 at HOME Manchester and Hull Truck Theatre.