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Yoko Ono arrives in Moscow to unveil her art show

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MOSCOW, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - Yoko Ono, the widow of murdered Beatle John Lennon, arrived in Moscow Tuesday to unveil her latest visual art project.

Ono's Odyssey of a Cockroach installation will be shown May 30 through June 24 at the TSUM department store near the Kremlin as part of Moscow's Second Contemporary Art Biennale.

Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, the Japanese-born American artist said the exhibition was a more sophisticated version of the first two such displays, staged in London and New York City, adding that she always tried to incorporate elements of local culture into her shows and that the Odyssey's Russian leg would feature helmets worn by Red Army soldiers during WWII.

The installation features billboard-size color photographs and towering sculptures, which are arranged into a phantasmagorical mise-en-scene to present modern urban life through the eyes of a cockroach.

The 2003 exhibition at NYC's Jeffrey Deitch Gallery suffered from a lack of space, Ono said, whereas the multi-tiered area provided for the 2004 show at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts imposed a vertical layout.

Ono, whose latest album "Yes, I'm a Witch" was released in February, used musical terminology to compare the New York display to a piano solo, the one in London to a string quartet, and the forthcoming Moscow exhibition to a symphony.

Describing the genesis of the project in an exhibition synopsis, she said: "I have taken various pictures of the city's corners and presented them from a cockroach's point of view. Through the eyes of this other strong race, we may learn the true reality of what our dreams and nightmares have created."

According to NY Time Out, many of the featured images are quite unsettling as they show a bloody crime scene, a bombed-out building, a starving child, a rubbish bin overflowing with plaster body casts, a replica of a rat trap, and hundreds of old discarded shoes.

Ono, an ardent champion of peace, actively used art as a tool for anti-war campaigning in collaborative projects with Lennon, and she continued on that path after her husband was murdered in 1980.

The exhibition highlights the former Beatle's widow as a bright exponent of conceptual art, who was among the founders of Fluxus - an avant-garde movement started in the early 1960s with an ambition to fuse radical social attitudes with aesthetic practices.

Organizers said that while in Moscow, Ono would give two master classes for young Russian artists.

In a RIA Novosti interview, Ono said she visited Moscow on several occasions in the late 1980s, but that this was the first time she had come to the Russian capital with an exhibition.

She also said she had a Russian relative, avant-garde artist Varvara Bubnova, who was a muse of Kazimir Malevich and lived in Japan for a long time.

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