Yoko Ono
Odyssey of the Cockroach
TSUM, Moscow

Odyssey of a Cockroach is a travelling project: in October 2003 it was first shown at Deitch Projects in New York, and later at the London Institute of Modern Art. In Moscow Yoko showed the third version of the project, which she adapts every time for each new space.

Odyssey of a Cockroach is a grand installation, which takes the form of a complex mise-en-scene intended to present the experience of a cockroach travelling through a big city. The city with its grand buildings and piles of rubbish everywhere is a symbol of current history, while the main character, the cockroach, is identified with us, the spectators, as well as the author. To quote “Time Out New York”, this exhibition is “a phantasmagorical passage through time – specifically the last century”: billboard size colour photographs show harsh urban scenes: a bloody murder, a house destroyed by a bomb, a starving child. Gargantuan objects like a 6-feet-tall rubbish bin which is filled with fragments of bodies made of plaster, a human-sized mousetrap, a toppled over chair and hundreds of old shoes which show us the cockroach’s point of view. On the giant desk covered in world maps spectators can see cards inscribed with famous quotations from the Hermann Goering Nuremberg Trials speech.

Working with Yoko Ono was a challenging delight. Obviously everybody knows Yoko Ono by name but that is something else than actually producing a project for her. When I was asked, I was flattered and I was aware of the fact that she was actually already a visual artist before she got involved in the Beatles scene. During this Beatle mania she was much better known as the wife off John Lennon but it changed again after his tragic death. In fact Yoko Ono makes really provocative and intelligent artworks and also this work “Odyssey of a Cockroach” is a magnificent installation about us; human beings and what we claim to be ! I must say that the several times that we met I was impressed by her personality, her view on art, the world and how she is communicating with people. An amazing personality indeed and a joy to collaborate with.

Video compilation of Yoko Ono  – Odyssey of the Cockroach

Photo impression of Yoko Ono  – Odyssey of the Cockroach