Saturday, April 22, 2023

Yoko Ono | I Love You Earth

Today is the 53rd annual Earth Day. On April 22nd, 1970, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated a nationwide environmental teach-in, based on peace activist John McConnell's proposed day to honour the Earth, and the concept of peace. Twenty years later, in 1990, the concept went global, with events organized in 141 nations (I marched in Toronto that year). Now more than a billion people participate, across 193 countries. 

The above billboard and text work is based on the closing song from Yoko Ono's LP StarPeace. The 1985 record was almost universally maligned, and not unfairly. Sounds gave it a one star review, calling it "a slab of pretentious AOR offal". Spin Magazine called it "a Sesame Street album for children who think My Weekly Reader has been withholding the truth", and said that "the album's placidity and earnestness make embarrassing claims on our emotions".

The poor response to the record led to Ono withdrawing from music, later saying "After Starpeace I was totally the fact that there was no kind of demand for what I was doing, to put it mildly!". She returned eleven years later with the brilliant Rising, in 1996. 

I LOVE YOU EARTH joins IMAGINE PEACE and FLY as Ono's most seen billboard projects, following the War Is Over! collaboration with John Lennon in the early seventies. 

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