Yoko Ono’s legendary performance ‘Sky Piece to Jesus Christ’ is followed by Yoko Ono doing her ‘Action Piece’ painting, clearing the air in a scream, and then introducing a ‘Promise Piece’, in this video from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013.
In Sky Piece to Jesus Christ (1965) the members of a chamber orchestra are wrapped in gauze bandages. Ono views the sky as the epitome of freedom in contrast to the inner and outer bonds visualized during the performance. The performance is further explained in the related video interview ‘A thing called life’.
Japanese-American avant-garde artist Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933, but moved to New York when she was 18, later becoming one of the most important representatives of the Fluxus movement. Yoko Ono, who was called “the most famous unknown artist in the world” by John Lennon, was actually a recognized artist when they met in 1966.
Recorded at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, 2013.
Camera: Klaus Elmer, Nicolaj Jungersen & Mathias Nyholm
Edited by Kamilla Bruus
Colorgrade: Honey Biba Beckerlee
Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner.
Copyright Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013.
Supported by Nordea-fonden.
This was first performed in Jeanette Cochrane Theatre in London, 1966. Yoko Ono, as the last piece of the night, broke a vase on the stage and asked people to pick up the pieces and take them home, promising that they would all meet again in 10 years time with the pieces and put the vase together again.
Second performance was by a male performer in Tokyo calling a female performer in New York, 1964, at the Plaza Hotel; third performance by a solo performer calling a person in Kitazawa flat, 1962; fourth performance by a man in Chinatown phone booth, New York, calling a person at Chambers Street loft, New York, 1961; fifth performance, an elephant in Paris calling a parrot in New Guinea, 1959 – all calls being about future meetings. Call or write about future meetings or any other plans.
from Grapefruit by Yoko Ono
SEVEN HAPPINESSES AND EIGHT TREASURES
When we were children, we learnt at our elementary school how the warrior, Yamanaka Shikanosuke, vowed to endure seven misfortunes and eight sufferings, thereby giving all the negative things to him that would have been given to the people of his city. I was so impressed with his selfless devotion to people, I wanted to be like him when I grew up.
When I think of it now, I’ve ended up in so many frightening situations all my life, I’m amazed that I have survived at all. But since that was the only life I knew, I just slipped in and out of difficulties thinking that was how life was.
When my husband passed away, suddenly, it really made me think about the way my life was. What did I do wrong? Have I done something wrong? Then Yamanaka Shikanosuke praying to the new moon came into my vision. “Oh, dear! Could that be it?” So I quickly changed the mantra that I forgot since that was so long time ago, and asked to be given “seven happinesses and eight treasures.” And it worked! Well, not entirely, yet. But I see that it’s working slowly but surely, as they say …
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