Notes on Art

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Yoko Ono, White Chess Set, 1966

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In this piece Yoko Ono recreates a chess set with all pieces and squares painted white. A brass plaque underneath the piece read “Chess set for playing as long as you can remember where all your pieces are”.

Ono uses this as a subtle anti-war statement, commenting on the inherently militaristic and combative nature of such games. By painting all pieces white she removes the possibility of Othering the “enemy” and creates the illusion that you are playing yourself in a battle doomed from the start.

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Yoko Ono, White Chess Set, 1966

photo via

In this piece Yoko Ono recreates a chess set with all pieces and squares painted white. A brass plaque underneath the piece read “Chess set for playing as long as you can remember where all your pieces are”.

Ono uses this as a subtle anti-war statement, commenting on the inherently militaristic and combative nature of such games. By painting all pieces white she removes the possibility of Othering the “enemy” and creates the illusion that you are playing yourself in a battle doomed from the start.

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