For a 79-year-old, Yoko Ono gets around. Between a retrospective in London this June and the launch of an Instagram project to document smiles filtered just so, the famous and infamous wife of John Lennon moves and shakes like so many James Francos. She's tracked her latest shimmies with a camera -- from the coast of Ireland, into London's galleries, and back to New York, where she's rumored to still keep a few apartments in The Dakota.
There's a strict formula to these photographs, which Ono uploads to her public Instagram account along with images of her artwork: Ono stands with her back to the camera, wearing a black suit and a white fedora, facing something striking. There's a caption below, usually signed "yoko." The caption might be sentimental or pointed, but it's always written in a way that seems intimate. No matter how silly the juxtapositions get, there's something endearing about them too, whether Ono's looking skyward and extolling corner apartments in Manhattan, or she's a tiny figure in the distance, remembering John Lennon.
On their own, the photos suggest a funny premise: What if you spent a day trailing Ono (the photos actually span a month, but she's wearing only one outfit, remember) on a ritzy transatlantic adventure, an eye on her back as she moves through the Serpentine gallery in London, New York's Soho neighborhood, the woods? Would it be fun, or would you just want her to sit down for a while, relax -- hell, let you take the lead? How indulgent is this back-facing position of hers? Is it charming?
We wanted to know the answers to all those questions, and so we edited Ono's Instagram account. The relevant images are now isolated in order from least to most recent, so the whole thing reads like a diary entry. Maybe you need an imaginary vacation, or maybe you're just bored. Either way, we recommend you click through our slideshow of a whirlwind day behind Yoko Ono's back and tell us how it makes you feel.
I'm a lucky gal! yoko
The clouds are running very slowly over Serpentine Gallery, encircled by green, green, green. I love it! yoko
Hyde Park. It's starting to smell like summer but it's still chilly. For me, it's nostalgia time. I feel English walking in this park. " You are!" John would say....
I am looking at On Kawara's great works. He once did the date of when I left New York for London. That was nice of him. yoko
My exhibition at The Serpentine opens tomorrow. Going from one room to another... in Serpentine. I am about to enter the last room.... I feel I'm guiding and guided by John. from room to room... yoko
I love Central Park in New York, but somehow Hyde Park is very special. It's the nostalgia of when we used to live here, I suppose. And I love these trees. They must have seen a lot! yoko
I am praying for the soul of Daniel O'Connell. May he rest in peace. May his his life history be told to us all and add to our energy of activism.
Dublin, Ireland: I wanted to know how they felt when they took the ferry from here to Liverpool, during the famine, leaving their country to go to where they would have food to eat. Some Irish people died before getting on the ferry, some died on the ferry. Those who made it to Liverpool were not welcomed with open arms. The stones were cold and hard on my hands. The spirits of those who died before getting on the ferry quietly whispered to me that they would like the living ones to erect a carved little stone plaque with flowers on the sides to remember them. The clouds were getting thicker. I felt drops of rain on my cheeks. If you are Irish or half-Irish, you should visit here one day, and have kind thoughts for the one who couldn't make it. love, yoko
Downing Street. New York Summer! I love it! I remember everything. So my hands automatically went like this...Wow! Am I 21, 31? The hat suggests it is in the 2000's. So I must be... !!! yoko
Another Village artist. This is beautiful. I am in my androgynous garb as usual. yoko
If I were what I was, I would try to get that corner loft with a huge skylight. Now I am a Upper West-Sider, just checking out the old streets. That's okay. Look at that cloud! It looks like it's alive...with a mind. yoko
Mott Street, NYC. Now how did it go? Standing on Mott Street, Checking the beat...That's right! yoko