June 11, 2012

"As her relationship with the Beatles fades into the past her own reputation is crystallising."

"What is so extraordinary is that her work chimes with the times we live in now. Her activism is immensely relevant for today, in the age of Occupy."
“She was the first artist, in 1964, to put language on the wall of the gallery and invite the viewer to complete the work. She was the first artist to cede authorial authority to the viewer in this way, making her work interactive and experimental. That was the radical move of art in the 1960s.”...

A key work was her book Grapefruit, first published in 1964, which has artworks framed as sets of instructions, or “event scores”; as such it is an important early example of conceptual art. (One example, entitled Painting to Exist Only When It’s Copied Or Photographed, runs: “Let people copy or photograph your paintings. Destroy the originals.”)

Another significant work of this period was Cut Piece, a performance work in which Ono invited the audience to take scissors and snip away her clothes as she sat, silent and still....
Here's the 9-minute video of "Cut Piece."

65 comments:

Michael K said...

John was using too much smack when he married her.

ndspinelli said...

From the people that brought you Pearl Harbor; comes this mousey, talentless, anorexic, elitist, bitch.

lewsar said...

i have never understood the interest in this woman. she does not strike me as talented, or artistic, or interesting, or attractive, or anything else.

john lennon clearly found her all of these things and more. perhaps in person she more than she seems.

ah well. i don't care very much in any case.

chickelit said...

Like Hillary Clinton, she didn't get there on her own.

Unless of course she really does have talent.

Which is it?

rhhardin said...

Imus's Bernard McGuirk's theory is that Chapman's plan was to murder Yoko Ono and John stooped over at the wrong instant ("Here, let me get that for you").

Chapman would be out by now, if so.

Aridog said...

Oh, goodie ... an "Art" thread. Popcorn anyone?

Bob R said...

"What is so extraordinary is that her work chimes with the times we live in now. Her activism is immensely relevant for today, in the age of Occupy.” Is it really possible that someone said that with no intention either to be ironic or to insult Ono? Some people lead a sheltered life.

cubanbob said...

Can we bury the 60's? Enough already.

Tom Spaulding said...

"Shitting on Police Cars in the Age of Occupy"

If you saw that iconic photo, it was because I gave you pre-author permission, which I then used to create art by asking if you saw the video, which I just did...so give me credit.

edutcher said...

Her "work" was even regarded as a joke by people who thought Warhol and Peter Max were the next Rembrandt and Titian.

EMD said...

Darn. I thought she died. ; )

Paddy O said...

The age of "occupy"?

So, her activism was extremely relevant for Fall, 2011!

The Crack Emcee said...

Ono was famous before John met her, and she had her substantial moments - we wouldn't have the music of The B-52s (and others) without her - but I still think placing her "in the age of Occupy” is appropriate for what she's done with her career, post-Lennon. She's embarrassed herself greatly, and I cringe whenever I see her, still thinking there's anything creative about the destruction she chooses to wreck on young lives, and the country.

Let the 60s die,...

Pete said...

She and her son, Sean, performed with Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips here in Oklahoma City on New Years Eve.

I'm not sure what that says about any of them or Oklahoma City. But it happened.

Jalanl said...

I remember back in college when "Double Fantasy" came out. We listened to side one then got to Yoko's song(?) "Kiss Me Love". Wow! We were so impressed we took a knife and made a groove in the record across each Yoko song so the turn table would skip directly to the next John song!

Moose said...

"Is it time to appreciate Yoko Ono?"

Good lord no. Edgy bad art is still bad art.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

When I was a 10 year old kid, there was a free juke box at the local game arcade where I used to go. It had, as a selection Yoko Ono's "Open your Box" (the B side of Lennon's "Working Class Hero").

My primary use for this song was to punch it in over and over so it would clean out the arcade of visitors so I could get to the games.

It worked, too. Take a listen and you'll understand why.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Never a fan of the PowerPuff girls cartoon, but one of the kids had it on, and when I happened to see this scene, I laughed my ass off.

DrSquid said...

9 minutes lost, forever. Damn.

Michael said...

Not "the age of Occupy." Couple of months before it got cold and too nasty to bear. No "age" of any kind.

Mark O said...

Didn't she break up the Plastic Ono band?

Had she never been with John Lennon, we would not know her name and we would have been free from the reoccurring nightmare of her screechings. Dear God! Make it stop.

I do appreciate her as a talentless hag who doubled as Lennon's mother substitute.

DCS said...

One of the most successful charlatans in the history of the world.

Quaestor said...

The closest Yoko Ono ever came to conceptual art.

Chef Mojo said...

Meh...

bagoh20 said...

Ono's razor.

Mary Beth said...

Pinky and the Brain nailed it.

S said...

Alternatively, Occupy is a throw-back to when Yoko Ono was relevant.

yashu said...

The age of Occupy
The age of the macarena
The age of Milli Vanilli
The age of Air America
The age of cold fusion
The age of New Coke
The age of Friendster
The age of Beanie Babies
The age of the Coffee Party
The age of No Labels
The age of Y2K
The age of Paris Hilton
The age of Howard Dean
The age of John Edwards
The age of the Chevy Chase show
The age of "Studio 60"
The age of the 2011 Rapture
The age of the OWN network

yashu said...

The age of the LaserDisc

bagoh20 said...

When the meteor is on it's way, and we need to fly our silver seed to a new home in the sun, we should throw out whatever we have to to make room for this treasure.

Essential culture

Paul Kirchner said...

Lefties, like the NPR folks, keep talking about "Occupy" like it's the transcending movement of the 21st Century. Why? What lasting impact has it had compared to the Tea Party, which has actually affected electoral politics. Yet to the lefties, the Tea Party is invisible. It never happened.

In fact, I think the whole Occupy thing was an expression of Tea Party envy.

A. Shmendrik said...

Nice cleavage!

Synova said...

"Alternatively, Occupy is a throw-back to when Yoko Ono was relevant."

Ha ha!

bagoh20 said...

Fortunately, Boxcar Willie didn't live to see Occupy make bums look bad.

Jay Vogt said...

Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

Ono was famous before John met her, and . . . we wouldn't have the music of The B-52s (and others) without her . . .


Not so sure about this. Rock Lobster predates the youtube "video that you reference. And, while it is true that Kate Pierson can sound like Yoko, I don't believe the opposite is true.

I suppose that Yoko's material could be described as "proto-trance", but I think it's a stretch to say that she had much to do with it's emergence. It came largely out of Germany. Most of the Sino-Prussian initiatives of the 20th century didn't go so well.

Let the 60s die,...

+1

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Makes sense. One was a trustafarian before she met Lennon and the Occupy brats are mostly upper-middle class brats supported by Mommy and Daddy so why not?

yashu said...

bagoh20 @9:01 PM,

I'll have what she's having.

Nice cleavage!

She is cute. I think Yoko's gotten cuter as she's gotten older.

bagoh20 said...

When I played that Yoko clip, my dogs all started running around the house looking to kill whatever it was.

yashu said...

Re Yoko Ono's influence on the B-52s etc., I've got two words for you: Yma Sumac.

Henry said...

Whatever happened to Laurie Anderson?

Balfegor said...

No matter how hard she tries, she'll always be a graduate of the Peer's School to me. Her schoolmates were ex-zaibatsu and the scions of old Daimyo families and the semi-divine descendants of the Goddess of the Sun. It is hard to get more privileged than that.

Kevin said...

I ran into her at the Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center. She was wearing at least 10000 dollars in one of a kind designer clothing and jewelry and her car is a 12 cylinder Mercedes. Now remember, she just lives in the Dakota, which is at 72d and Central Park West. But she needs a 12 cylinder Mercedes to get to 66th and Broadway. Green is for the little people.

Carnifex said...

To be reduced to a mocked harridan in childrens cartoons? I think Yoko is suffering in her own form of hell. So fallen from her perch on Johns pedestal. She has to know she's a grotesquery to the modern world. I hope her money makes up for her lost dignity. Try not to be so cruel when mocking never-wases, there but for the grace of God, or in Crack Emcees belief system, dumb luck and hard work, go I.

The Crack Emcee said...

I wish you guys wouldn't argue with me. When I don't know something I'll tell you:

"Yoko was such an inspiration for us in the early days," {B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland] says. "That's definitely an homage to Yoko when Cindy [Wilson] does that scream at the end."

Whammy! is the third studio album by New Wave band The B-52's,...The album's seventh track, "Don't Worry", a cover version of the Yoko Ono song "Don't Worry, Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand in the Snow)", from her 1971 album Fly; however, the song was removed during later pressings due to legal issues with Ono.


Ono not only influenced Lennon, but also an entire generation of bands, from Talking Heads and Blondie to The B-52's.

PLAYBOY: What are your musical preferences these days?

LENNON: Well, I like all music, depending on what time of day it is. I don't like styles of music or people per se. I can't say I enjoy the Pretenders, but I like their hit record. I enjoy the B-52s, because I heard them doing Yoko. It's great. If Yoko ever goes back to her old sound, they'll be saying, "Yeah, she's copying the B-52s."

The Crack Emcee said...

It's embarrassing to see that so many supposedly-learned individuals can be so ignorant of the art around them - and be snobbish about it.

Can't you just admit you don't understand Yoko's work - putting the blame on yourselves, where it belongs - rather than declaring she's never done anything and I'm delusional? How does that behavior make any of you good people? It doesn't. It makes you a mindless mob, doing what mobs always do - senselessly attacking what you can't comprehend, simply because you can't comprehend it, and don't have the intellectual curiosity to investigate it further.

The next time I call some or all of you a "morons," don't be pissed:

I'm trying to be as accurate as possible,...

Darrell said...

Yoko taught me something important. If you're going to spend your life doing stuff like that, it's best to have hundreds millions of Dollars sitting in the bank.

Darrell said...

No one appreciates my "art."
You are too small to see how big it is. I pity you.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

That video was very uncomfortable. It is always discomforting to see someone humiliate herself. And with such clear intention.

Palladian said...

Whatever happened to Laurie Anderson?

Laurie's doing great, and is an impressively friendly person, to boot.

And Yoko's a genius, unfairly and maliciously tainted by being associated with the unfathomably stupid "Occupy" nonsense by some Guardian newspaper hack.

William said...

So much of modern art is inaccessible that for all I know she's talented. In an area where the metrics are more knowable, she has successfully managed the Lennon estate, and she's now worth quite an enormous amount of money. If banking and finance were a conceptual art (and whose to say they're not), she would rank with Man Ray.....Zen sayings are supposed to leave you wth a feeling of emptiness. Her life is a zen saying. I cannot derive any moral or meaning to her life, but she definitely exists at a higher level of vacuity than Paris Hilton.

yashu said...

Whatever happened to Laurie Anderson?

As far as I know, happily married to Lou Reed (among other things).

One of the coolest couples ever.

yashu said...

And in this case I don't mean "cool" sarcastically (as I would if I were talking about e.g. Obama).

el polacko said...

i caught this yoko exhibit when it was in san fran several years ago. it was a total delight: uplifting, inspirational, and just plain beautiful to look at. seeing her delicate calligraphy alone was well worth the visit.
i was fortunate enough, last year, to get tickets to her sold-out concert at the restored fox theater in oakland. it was, hands down, the most amazing concert i've ever attended. when that tiny, 80-year-old woman opens her mouth and releases her powerful vocal sound sculptures it is literally stunning. no one left that theater unimpressed by her artistry. her work has been what is usually called 'ahead of its time' but it does seem that, finally, her time for recognition is coming about. remixes of her music have been popular hits in international dance clubs these last few years as ears are becoming attuned to the brilliance of her vocal talents. how many little,old ladies can lay claim to having disco hits? yoko is a wonder.

el polacko said...

@henry: laurie anderson is currently selling her old music to a telephone company for use as jingles in their television commercials.

Jay Vogt said...

"Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

I wish you guys wouldn't argue with me. When I don't know something I'll tell you:

"Yoko was such an inspiration for us in the early days," {B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland] says. "That's definitely an homage to Yoko when Cindy [Wilson] does that scream at the end." . . . "


Ya learn something new every day.

The Crack Emcee said...

el polacko,

@henry: laurie anderson is currently selling her old music to a telephone company for use as jingles in their television commercials.

I heard that one day, recently, and just about fell out of my chair. It almost hit me as hard as when I realized she practically predicted 9/11, years before it happened, with that and other of her songs,...

Rusty said...

Jay Vogt said...
"Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

I wish you guys wouldn't argue with me. When I don't know something I'll tell you:

"Yoko was such an inspiration for us in the early days," {B-52s guitarist Keith Strickland] says. "That's definitely an homage to Yoko when Cindy [Wilson] does that scream at the end." . . . "

Ya learn something new every day.



My knowledge pocket only has so much space. So this isn't being saved.

Aridog said...

I'd be the last one to critique Crack's knowledge of music and the history of it all. He's forgotten more than I'll ever know, even though I was close to the Motown and RCA sides for a relatively brief time in my life. For example: I recall (I know with certainty) how Silver Convention (who dat, right?) got a hit with "Fly robin Fly" .... a re-dux of the last band on their first (failed) album. That said, it helped shape my concept that hype, noise, and promotion doesn't make "art." I makes sales. If sales and "noise" are your metrics, cool. But they aren't mine.

Yoko was "old" by the middle 60's (32+) and not to be trusted, so to speak. Remember that? No matter, I was and still am, I presume, an odd bird, in that I became a life long fan of a age-contemporary of hers, Ahmad Jamal, by the late 50's and throughout the 60's to today...whose career, in my opinion, dwarfs anything Yoko has ever done. If there is any artist today that I could meet personally and just say "Hi" and "thanks," it would be Ahmad Jamal. Maybe it's just my early life "enslavement" to classical piano, eh? (quit it for sports) :-)

Yoko? Meh...

bagoh20 said...

I've seen people claim that homeopathy cured them of cancer and I've seen people claim Yoko is a great artist.

Either very simple things can be beyond my understanding or bullshit can always finds a warm bed.

Robert Cook said...

"Lefties, like the NPR folks, keep talking about 'Occupy' like it's the transcending movement of the 21st Century. Why? What lasting impact has it had compared to the Tea Party, which has actually affected electoral politics. Yet to the lefties, the Tea Party is invisible. It never happened."

I think those who extol the Occupy movement are stirred by what they hope or wish to belief it portends about a future uprising of the people against the increasingly oppressive and rapacious elites who run things, but they are carried away by their wishful thinking. I doubt the Occupy movement will have any more significant presence or influence.

The Tea Party movement has likewise been overblown by its supporters, who somehow think it presents some sort of radical break with government-as-usual. In fact, the Tea Party was largely financed by wealthy financiers who are part of the establishment, and those who were elected to office as "tea party" candidates are far-right candidates who serve the interests of the wealthy elites and not those of the people. In other words, the Tea Partiers are just the same-old same-old with new branding...and bunch of rightly angry citizens were hood-winked by them, (just as Obama's supporters were and are hoodwinked by him).

furious_a said...

From the Guardian article:

"...everyone knows her name, but no one knows what she actually does”.

One could say the same about Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.

"Occupy" and "Relevant" are a contradiction in terms.

harkin said...

The defining moment of her career was when the staff of the Mike Douglas Show exercised authorial authority and turned off her microphone - cut piece indeed.

harkin said...

The Tea Partiers are nothing compared to the Occutards. Look at the damage claims, the cleanup costs, the arrest records, the rape-free zones, the noise, the disturbance to a public who couldn't care less about their tantrum party/campout, the drug use etc etc etc.

The Tea Party can't hold a candle to Occupy...unless it's regarding occupying adulthood.