Yoko Ono Half-a-Wind Show, retrospective in Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao)

The conceptual artist Yoko Ono celebrates its 80th anniversary with the major retrospective of his work so far. "Half-a-Wind Show" can be seen at the Guggenheim in Bilbao until 4 September.
"The blame for everything has Yoko Ono ..." the sarcastic refrain of a Spanish group is referred to the bad opinion that the people usually had about this independent artist who crossed in the life of Beatle John Lennon to give peace and love and, according to most critics, she stepped him away from the music, definitely separated him from his companions and definitely destroyed the band from Liverpool. 
 
Time, however, has given Yoko Ono (Tokyo, February 18, 1933) a truce and his work has outweighed the legend of "the Black Widow". The prove is the figure of about 320,000 people who have already gone through the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to see the largest retrospective of the artist so far, "Half-A-Wind Show", an exhibition showing the history of this pioneer of the Conceptual Art with nearly 200 objects, films, documentation of performances, installations, drawings, photographs, fine text and audio to paint a complete portrait of Yoko Ono and with what she wants to celebrate his 80th birthday.
 

The starting point of this exhibition is the book A Book of Instructions and Drawings, published by the artist in 1970 and in which a number of recommendations and instructions are shelled for the public to better enjoy his work and that these guidelines "are indications that unfold a whole world of things, assign the public a more active role than usual in the art world, because without the real or mental participation of the viewer, most of the works are considered incomplete "as explains in the exhibition.

And the main component of his work are the ideas, not the materials or techniques, ideas that become in spaces, objects, actions, images, performances often with a message of social criticism but also with a great sense of humor and optimism. In fact, Lennon felt in love with her thanks to her installation "Ceiling Painting" (1966) that can be seen in Bilbao. In this installation, the viewer must climb a wooden staircase to get close to the ceiling where it hangs a magnifying glass with which can see a tiny (but inmense) post in the ceiling: "YES / SI". 
 
"Words are powerful and influence your mind," claimed the artist in the presentation of the Guggenheim retrospective, "I said YEAH in the 60's, what about it provocation? It was provocative art ".

The exhibition is divided into sections and begins with the most important works of 1960, the first actions and performances, works on paper, ready-mades and objects strongly influenced by the New York avant-garde of the era and artists like musician John Cage, George Maciunas, founder of the Fluxus movement, or the filmmaker Jonas Mekas.

The exhibition does not forget the musical and film side of Yoko Ono, with her works in collaboration with John Lennon and more recent work, as the album that recorded two years ago with the American Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, or his bizarre version of the Katy Perry's song Fireworks, which Yoko performed at the MoMA in New York. The last section presents its latest facilities and participatory works, some of them designed especially for this retrospective. 
 
In case of doubt whether if it is worth or not going to see this exhibition, it is best to take the "Yoko option": YES, YES, always.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.