Marissa sent in the following article, asking an important question about the limits of “interactive” or “participatory” artwork:
“This is a topic I’ve been following since it broke, I found it slightly humorous given the nature of the exhibition and also, admittedly, the perpetrator currently wanted.
An elderly woman is wanted in connection to a stolen work of art, part of Ono’s “Riverbed” piece at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the installation itself is interactive and encourages viewers to contemplate the work within the space as well as larger understandings of being. However, it seems as though this particular patron wanted a more intimate understanding of the work, as she allegedly walked away with a part of the installation. The stolen work in question is a rock that Ono inscribed with the words “love yourself,” which is valued at $17,500. Adding to the humor of the situation, Ono herself is said to describe the piece as “a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world.”
What could this possibly mean in the face of art theft? Does the interactive quality of her work invite the possibility of these types of actions? Are actions like these defiant, reactive, or simply pedestrian? “