Montreal show looks at Lennon's bed-in,40 years on

Fri Apr 3, 2009 4:12pm EDT
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By Rita Devlin Marier

MONTREAL (Reuters) - A large bed with white sheets is a central feature of a new exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "bed-in" for peace, a week-long protest against the Vietnam War.

Visitors to the Montreal exhibition, "Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko," can lie on the oversized bed, listen to archive interviews and watch clips from the peaceful protest that Lennon and Ono conducted from their bed at the city's Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

The show, at Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts, uses videos, sketches, photographs, and an omnipresent soundtrack of music and voices to examine the former Beatle's "War is Over" campaign and his relationship with Ono.

"We're coming up to the 40th anniversary of Yoko Ono and John Lennon's bed-in in Montreal," museum director Nathalie Bondil told Reuters.

"And reevaluating today what they were doing, we realize that it was not only an extremely radical artistic action...but also something that's still pertinent in Montreal today to promote that same message of peace and love that John and Yoko were promoting 40 years ago."

Ono, in Montreal for the exhibition's early April opening, told Canadian and international media that the message from her 1969 protest with Lennon remained relevant.

"Thank you for making such a grand statement on world peace with your museum show, at this time when it is very, very much needed," she said, her black silhouette standing out against the exhibit's white surroundings.

Lennon, who was shot to death in New York in 1980, took his 1969 bed-in protest to Montreal from Amsterdam after it became clear he would be denied entry to the United States.   Continued...

<p>A photograph signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono is displayed with other items from Dick Clark's music memorabilia collection in New York City October 25, 2006. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>