Yoko Ono’s Smiles

Yoko Ono’s #smilesfilm project, originally a Flickr group that included smiling pictures from photo booths at exhibitions in Tokyo, Berlin and New Delhi, has now been converted to an iPhone app, gathering smiles and dreams on a worldwide scale.

sers may also upload their smiling faces by visiting the online website, or via Twitter and Instagram. In Yoko Ono’s latest exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, for the London 2012 festival, more than 15,000 smiles were collected.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkdr3YUm8Gc[/youtube]
#smilesfilm, an ongoing initiative, like Wish Trees, originated as a concept back in 1967. The Tokyo born artist then shared her thoughts on film-making, as appeared on the second edition of Grapefruit My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world.’

In 1968, a 52min film entitled Film No. 5, or SMILE, the first mutual film project of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, was shot in ‘Kenwood’, his house in Weybridge. It featured an elongated 3min scene of Lennon shifting from a straight face to a wide smile, concentrating mainly on the vibrations of this action. Initially, it was supposed to last four hours. A high-speed camera, taking 20,000 frames per minute, was used to capture his whole expressions.

The same idea reappeared through the decades, such as in her 1971 conceptual artwork, a Box of Smiles, but the ultimate manifestation came after Lennon’s sudden death in 1980, when Yoko turned to find comfort into that very concept, as she was unable to form a smile and forced repeatedly herself, managing finally a genuine reaction of appreciating life.

Although smiling does not always seem that doable, your involvement in this participatory project may realize the most honorable of intentions. In Yoko’s words: ‘Please smile for your health and joy. If all of us do this, our planet will be a heaven, created by us.’

For more information on the iPhone app and the project visit the #smilesfilm website.

Photo: Still from Film No. 5 by Yoko Ono, ‘SMILE’ starring John Lennon © The Artist

by Marw Kouvatsou

 

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