Yoko Ono at the Serpentine Gallery

Yoko Ono’s first room is compelling.  Black-and-white film footage of a human eye and a burning match; military helmets hung upside-down, with jigsaw pieces inside; three mounds of earth with a sign “War is Over”; evocative soundtrack of a hawk’s cry.  The curating is terrific, different works brought together to inspire contemplation and yearning, the futility of war contrasted with the human need to observe and experience.

The show features some iconic films, including old and new versions of her performance work Cut Piece, where people cut strips from her clothing.  Also Bottoms (1967): “Ooh, it’s a naked bottom!” exclaimed a visitor; the attendants rolled their eyes.  But the walls of the show are peppered with sentences that seem more bland than whimsical, and a clear plastic maze that photographs well proves pretty dull to walk through, especially if you saw the Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern earlier this year.

Serpentine Gallery, London
19 June 2012 to 9 September 2012