During a protest in Washington D.C. in 1969, Yoko Ono and John Lennon repeated the hymn, “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” to an audience of a quarter of a million people. This protest stood in a long line of antiwar efforts engineered by the couple, coined “John and Yoko’s Year of Peace.” As public figures, they felt an enormous responsibility to stop worldwide violence. This responsibility even entered their private life—their honeymoon was a “bed-in,” where they invited the press into their hotel room for a week, preaching their message of peace.
This box, Imagine Peace, was created in conjunction with Ono’s exhibition at the University of Akron that featured the couple’s year of conceptual artwork. An included booklet by Scott A. Scherer takes a critical look at each of their conceptual pieces, from their work on billboards, to their fake advertisements. The box also includes peace paraphernalia, including a rubber stamp, a button, postcards, and a description of her Reykjavik-based Imagine Peace Tower. The Onochord is also included, which is a small keychain light, used to flash a representation of the term “I Love You.” When Ono would give talks around the time of the exhibit, she would give these lights out to the audience, allowing them to represent the message en masse. Ono thinks of each of the pieces in this box as seeds that can grow into a larger movement of change.