Concept Art War is Over! John Lennon, Yoko Ono's Campeign Christmas 1969

Essay by eeh120University, Bachelor'sA, August 2005

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On the First of December 2004, Kevin Concannon gave a lecture at the Myers School on Yoko Ono and John Lennon's War is Over! campaign of 1969. The word "campaign" in particular is noteworthy because Ono and Lennon's art was carried out through multiple different mediums, yet all sought to convey the same concept. Billboards, storefront posters, concerts, performance art, and internationally broadcasted television specials were all used in a concerted effort to speak out against the Vietnam War. The idea of all these individual works coming together to form one beautiful movement is a fantastic example of conceptual art.

Conceptual art is something that has been at the back of my mind for a long time. I have always been drawn to music, performance art, and the art that surrounds us in everyday life. However, until Concannon's lecture I was never able to distinguish concept art from its other modern day counterparts, i.e.

performance art. One must admit, Apple's Think Different advertising campaign or Absolute's long-running magazine campaign stir something in the brain. This is not because there is something complex or confusing about the images themselves, but they beg to be thought about. The art itself servers a function to be thought provoking so that at least some of the art, if not most of the art, happens not on paper but purely in thought. The artist's goal is to create an image in your head, or an intriguing thought, or a highly individualized experience such that the art is simply in concept, hence its name.

Aside from the music of Lennon and the Beatles, the component of Ono's campaign that was the most pervasive was the posters. Their beauty comes from their simplicity and minimalism. They are not flashy, or even colorful. They were encouraged...