Yoko Ono

odyssey of a cockroach in moscow


From the press release

Odyssey of a Cockroach is a traveling exhibition project. It was first displayed in October 2003 in New York at the Soho gallery of Jeffrey Deitch, then it toured to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (February-March 2004). In May-June 2007 Moscow will become the third city after New York and London to present to wide audience the major Yoko Ono’s project which became world famous during the tour.

Odyssey of a Cockroach is an installation that takes the form of theatrical mise-en-scene – the experience of a cockroach as it makes its way through the city of New York. But more than that, it is, to quote the New York Time Out review “a phantasmagorical passage through time – specifically the last century”. In “Odyssey of a Cockroach”, walls are covered with billboard-size colour photographs of gritty urban scenes – a bloody crime scene, a bombed-out building, a starving child. Big towering objects depict similarly unsettling subjects – a six foot rubbish bin overflowing with plaster body casts, an enormous replica of human rat trap, and hundreds and hundreds of old discarded shoes, the owners long forgotten. On a gigantic desk papered with maps of the world are index cards printed with a quotation, attributed to Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg Trials: “But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship”, – said the Reich-Marshall. – “Voice or no voice, the people can always bebrought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and then denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country".

Describing the genesis of the project, Yoko Ono says: “We desired women to look as thin as the people we starved. We created a break-down of our own families, severing ourselves from other family members, mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically. We started to abuse our children, ignoring them and allowing them to be taken away from us. Children walked out on us as well. Fleeting peacefulness was enjoyed with fear and doubt. Love was temporal and met with guarded cynicism. In fact, we became the starved: both mentally and emotionally”.

arrow Photos of Yoko Ono during the Moscow exhibition opening
arrow Photos from Odyssey of a Cockroach
arrow Introduction to the exhibition by Yoko Ono




Photo © Lenono Photo Archive

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