Yoko Ono ( 1933 - )
John Lennon |
Yoko Ono wurde am 18.2.1933 in Tokio geboren.
>Grapefruit< was originally published in a limited edition of 500 copies by the Wunternaum Press in Tokyo in 1964. The 1970 edition of >GRAPEFRUIT< A book of instructions + drawings by Yoko Ono Introduction by John Lennon Simon & Schuster New York London Toronto Sydney Singapore by Simon Schuster,NY contained material from the original, and pieces and drawings done in subsequent years by Yoko Ono. ..."
"Idea" is what the artist gives, like a stone thrown into the water for ripples to be made. Idea is the air or sun, anybody can use it and fill themselves according to their own size and shape of his body.... Instruction painting makes it possible to explore the invisible, the world beyond the existing concept of time and space. And then sometimes later, the instructions themselves will disappear and be properly forgotten." Y.O.
"Kunst ist eine Art des Überlebens"! Diese Worte aus Yoko Onos Mund werden nachvollziehbar, wenn man weiß, dass sie in der Gesellschaftsordnung Japans aufwuchs, die einer Frau nur geringe kreative Eigenständigkeit zugesteht. Ihre ersten Erfahrungen mit Musik macht Yoko an Privatschulen in ihrer Heimat, an denen sie Piano- und Gesangsunterricht erhält. 1952 migriert ihre Familie nach New York. Dort studiert sie zunächst Philosophie, bricht das Studium aber nach drei Jahren ab. Ihr Wissen über zeitgenössische Kompositionskunst erlangt sie auf dem Sarah Lawrence College. Besonders die zweite Wiener Schule (Schönberg, Webern) und die Zwölftontechnik haben es ihr angetan. In ihren ersten Kompositionen lebt sie aber auch ihre Neigung zur Poesie aus und beginnt Liedtexte zu verfassen.
Während dieser Zeit bewegt sie sich gerne in Kreisen, die von einer kreativen Aura umnebelt werden, und von John Cage, David Tudor und dem "Living Theatre" beeinflusst sind. Ende der 50er begibt sie sich zum ersten Mal in den Hafen der Ehe. Sie heiratet Tochi Ichiyanagi, einen japanischen Pianisten und Gage-Schüler. Zur künstlerischen Aufbruchstimmung damals leistet sie ihren Beitrag, indem sie skurrile Happenings und Performances veranstaltet und erste Ausstellungen mit Dada- und Konzeptkunstideen wagt. Von Dezember 1960 bis Juni 1961 veranstaltet sie in ihrer Wohnung die "Chambers Street Concerts", ein wichtiges Podium für die New Yorker Avantgarde-Szene. Im Herbst 1962 geht sie gemeinsam mit John Cage und David Tudor auf Japan-Tournee. 1964 erscheint ihre Publikation "Grapefruit", eine Sammlung ihrer Event-Anweisungen
Das zweite Mal macht sie ihr Eheschiff 1964 am Kai des amerikanischen Malers und Filmproduzenten Anthony Cox fest. Mit ihm zieht sie 1967 nach London, wo sie ein Jahr später John Lennon kennen lernt. 1969 heiraten beide und stellen sich umgehend in ihren Happenings, den "Love and Peace" Aktionen vor.
geb. 18.2.1933 in Tokio alsTochter eines Konsuls, mit 4 Jahren Piano- und Gesangsunterricht an Privatschulen
1952 imigriert ihre Familie nach New York. Sie studiert Philosophie, bricht das Studium aber nach drei Jahren ab. Wechsel zum Sarah Lawrence College,dort studiert sie Komposition , besonders die zweite Wiener Schule (Schönberg, Webern) und die Zwölftontechnik. In ihren ersten Kompositionen lebt sie aber auch ihre Neigung zur Poesie aus und beginnt Liedtexte zu verfassen.Während dieser Zeit bewegt sie sich gerne in Kreisen, die von John Cage, David Tudor und dem "Living Theatre" beeinflusst sind.
Ende der 50er heiratet sie Tochi Ichiyanagi, einen japanischen Pianisten und Cage-Schüler. Zur künstlerischen Aufbruchstimmung damals leistet sie ihren Beitrag, indem sie skurrile Happenings und Performances veranstaltet und erste Ausstellungen mit Dada- und Konzeptkunstideen wagt. Von Dezember 1960 bis Juni 1961 veranstaltet sie in ihrer Wohnung die "Chambers Street Concerts", ein wichtiges Podium für die New Yorker Avantgarde-Szene.
Herbst 1962 geht sie gemeinsam mit John Cage und David Tudor auf Japan-Tournee.
1964 erscheint ihre Publikation "Grapefruit", eine Sammlung ihrer Event-Anweisungen
Heiratet 1964 den amerikanischen Maler und Filmproduzenten Anthony Cox. Mit ihm zieht sie 1967 nach London. Lernt 1968 John Lennon kennen.
1969 heiraten beide und stellen sich umgehend in ihren bekannten aber bizarren "Love and Peace" Aktionen dar. Von Kritikern bekommt sie daraufhin vorgeworfen, dass die Homogenität des berühmtesten Quartetts der Musikgeschichte, der Beatles, unter ihrem Einfluss auf John zerbricht.
Es entstehen Gemeinschaftsproduktionen Lennon/Ono und die >Plastik Ono Band<.
1970 Neuauflage des Buches "Grapefruit". Tatsächlich können weder diese Gemeinschaftsproduktionen noch Yokos Solo-Werke den Mainstream des Pop erreichen.
Vorwort by Peter Frank http://www.artcommotion.com/Issue2/VisualArts/
Well before she emerged into popular awareness as John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono had established herself in vanguard art and music circles as one of the most daring, innovative and eccentric artist-performers of her time. As one of the founders of the Fluxus movement at the beginning of the 1960s, Ono helped identify and define the playful, subversive, visionary sensibility that has undergirded experimentation in all the arts ever since. Her poem-like verbal scores, her films, and her staged performances anticipated everything from minimalism to performance art, the furthest reaches of new cinema to the most extreme of Punk-New Wave music. Her performances made signal contributions to what Fluxus mastermind George Maciunas called "neo-Haiku theater" and artist-historian Ken Friedman labelled "Zen vaudeville".
In the '60s Ono took the common housefly as an alter ego. Clearly, the artist, mocked and maligned long before she began attracting the misguided ire of rock fans, regards the fly as an embodiment of her public persona--its apparent insignificance counterbalanced by its outsize ability to annoy. But even more important to Ono's associative thinking is the fly's constant, nervous "performing" and its elusively melodious buzz.
With her Fluxus colleagues Ono has elevated the insubstantial to monumental status, allowing us to contemplate the magic of the ordinary, as well as to comprehend the ordinariness of the seemingly profound. This inversion, along with the inventive puckishness of her game-like concepts and activities, make her work endlessly provocative--at once irksome and inviting, loopy and lovely, teasing and teaching us to appreciate the intimate and elusive phenomena that comprise life.
see ClickPicks for Yoko Ono related links
The Fluxus movement emerged in New York around 1960, then it took root in Europe, and eventually in its way to Japan. The movement encompassed a new aesthetic that had already appeared on three continents. That aesthetic encompasses a reductive gesturality, part Dada, part Bauhaus and part Zen, and presumes that all media and all artistic disciplines are fair game for combination and fusion. Fluxus presaged avant-garde developments over the last 40 years.
Fluxus objects and performances are characterized by minimalist but often expansive gestures based in scientific, philosophical, sociological, or other extra-artistic ideas and leavened with burlesque.
Yoko Ono is the best-known individual associated with Fluxus, but many artists have associated themselves with Fluxus since its emergence. In the '60s, when the Fluxus movement was most active, artists all over the globe worked in concert with a spontaneously generated but carefully maintained Fluxus network. Since then, Fluxus has endured not so much as a movement but as a sensibility--a way of fusing certain radical social attitudes with ever--evolving aesthetic practices. Initially received as little more than an international network of pranksters, the admittedly playful artists of Fluxus were, and remain, a network of radical visionaries who have sought to change political and social, as well as aesthetic, perception.
Yoko Ono entered the avantgarde art world in the crucial period of the early 1960s. She joined a generation of artists who challenged traditional forms of art and questioned previously held definitions of artistic expression. Chafing at what they viewed as the limitations imposed on art by their elders, a number of dancers, painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, and filmmakers banded together to challenge aesthetic boundaries; the overlapping and interpenetration of art forms gained supremacy.
Out of this new interdisciplinary spirit arose a non-narrative form of theater which initially found expression in what were known as happenings. Extolling the concept of "total art," happenings implicitly challenged the traditional separation between media. Why, artists asked, should they limit themselves to painting and sculpture.
This direct incorporation of concrete, scavenged aspects of the everyday world was partially inspired by the work of John Cage, who believed that the boundaries between art and life should be eliminated. For Cage, the world itself was a work of art; he saw the aesthetic potential in the commonplace and accepted everyday noise as music. Making music was, therefore, a means of revealing to people the beauty around them. It was, as he wrote, "an affirmation of lifenot an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living, which is so excellent once one gets one's mind and one's desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord."
By means of chance and audience participation, Cage was able to literally incorporate the sounds and activities of life into his art. In performing Cage's 1952 composition 4´´33´´, pianist David Tudor came out onstage, lifted the lid of the keyboard, and sat at the piano, without playing, for the duration of the pieceexactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The random sounds and unexpected visual events that happened within the time span constituted the work of art. By thus insisting that the audience provide the "music," Cage had conflated the roles of the audience and performer.
Visual artists since the turn of the century had incorporated found objects into their compositions. But Cage's performance went much further in removing traces of the artist's personal control from the making of art. Even Marcel Duchamp, with his ready-mades, had not so overtly challenged the def~nition of what constituted artistic authorship. Cage's embrace of chance and his belief in the viability of nontraditional sources of aesthetic material redefined the function and meaning of art. These lessons were not lost on the generation of artists who emerged in the 1960s.
Indeed, the unmediated presentation of tangible and everyday subject matter linked the various artsfrom the direct presentation of images from popular culture in pop art to the use of "real" time in film and the deployment of commonplace movement in dance. Incorporating images, soumds, and movements that did not overtly rely on the artist's expressive gesture offered an exit from what artists viewed as mannered stylization and self-conscious emotionality in the art of their predecessors. The very act of presenting commonplace subject matter, without any evidence of artistic manipulation, posed a severe challenge to notions of artistic originality and the function of art. Yet the new a* did not abandon subjectivity and meaning so much as transfer it to the viewer, who was thus forced into a more decisive role in determining the content of art.
Fluxus artists favored a conceptual rigor and attentiveness to "insignificant" phenomena: a light going on and off, or a line of performers shuffling across the floor. Typically, a deadpan wit pervaded the disciplined enactment of these isolated, quotidian actions. In Alison Knowles' Proposition (1962), performers came out onstage, made a salad, and exited; Emmett Williams' Voice Piece for La Monte Young (1963) instructed the performer to ask whether La Monte Young was in the audience, and then leave. Because of the focus on single-gesture actions, this type of Fluxus Event was easily expressed as written performance instructions. Sometimes these took the form of aphoristic poems: La Monte Young's Composition 1960 #5 instructed performers "to release a butterfly or any number of butterflies into the air"; George Brecht's String Quartet consisted of the words "shaking hands." As poetic stimulates to viewers' imaginations, these cryptic phrases were equally valid as performance directives or states of mind; although they could be enacted, simply reading and thinking about them was sufficient to constitute realization.
Participant in FLUXUS
Fascinated by the aesthetic potential of this new form of expression, Yoko Ono became an active and early participant in the vanguard activities associated with Fluxus. Indeed, one of the seminal events which launched Fluxus was a concert series, organized by La Monte Young, which Ono hosted at her loft at 112 Chambers Street, NY. Presented from December 1960 to June 1961,
the "Chambers Street Series" as it was informally dubbed, offered one of the first collective forums for the avantgarde sensibilities that later emerged under the rubric Fluxus.
Her first public concert took place at the Village Gate, New York, in 1961, as part of an evening of three contemporary Japanese composers. Among Ono's contributions was:
> A Grapefruit in the World of Park < , a multimedia melange which included a tape of mumbled words and wild laughter, musicians playing atonal music, and a performer intoning unemotionally about peeling a grapefruit, squeezing lemons, and counting the hairs on a dead child.
In >Toilet Piece<, which drew on theories of chance and audience participation, she amplified the sounds made in the lavatory;
in >Clock Piece<, she placed a clock on the center of the stage and asked the audience to wait until the alarm went off.
Later in 1961, Ono had an evening of performance events at Carnegie Recital Hall, the first in an impressive list of concerts she gave through 1968. Many of these incorporated the matter-of-fact, task-oriented activities which had become a virtual trademark of the vanguard performance community. Featured in the program were A Grapefruit in the World of Park, A.O.S., and A Piece for Strawberries & Violins. In the latter work, a performer stood up and sat down before a table stacked with dishes. At the end of ten minutes, she smashed the mound of dishes. Her action was accompanied by a rhythmic background of repeated syllables, a tape recording of moans and words spoken backwards, and an aria of high-pitched wails sung by Ono a portent of the musical sound that would later become Ono's trademark.
In 1964 She dit her -maybe- best piece >Cut piece< at Carnegie Recital Hall.
A distinguishing feature of Ono's performance work was her desire to intensify viewers' internal awareness and introspective meditation. She facilitated a state of dreaming by paring down visual and auditory stimuli and by concentrating thought on a single idea or isolated perception.
She wrote in 1966 "The natural state of life and mind is complexity,..what art can offer... is an absence of complexity, a vacuum through which you are led to a state of complete relaxation of mind. After that you may return to the complexity of life again."
Ono's desire to highlight the stillness of the self by engendering a focused concentration drew on the tradition of Zen meditation practice. Emulating Zen methods, she aimed to free viewers of the mind's clutter in order to effect a clarity of perception. Accordingly, >A.O.S.< was performed in the dark, in total silence; the only audible sound was the noise produced inadvertently in the process of enacting the performance. She hoped, in this way, to jolt her audience out of habitual patterns of listening and thinking. "If my music seems to require physical silence," she stated, "that is because it requires concentration to yourselfand this requires inner silence which may lead to outer silence as well. I think of my music more as a [Zen] practice (gyo) than as music. The only sound that exists to me is the sound of my mind. My works are only to induce music of the mind in people."
Central to Ono's work was her attention to the intangible forces of nature: in Wind Piece (1962), the audience was asked to move their chairs to make a narrow aisle for the wind to pass through; in Sun Piece (1962), she instructed them to "watch the sun until it becomes square."In Tape Piece I (1963), whose instructions were to "Take the sound of the stone aging," and Cloud Piece (1963), which admonished the participants to "imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in."
Implicit in much of her work was a subversive attack on conventional notions of morality and violence. In Cut Piece (1964), Ono sat impassively on stage while members of the audience came forward and cut off pieces of her clothes until she was nearly naked; in Wall Piece for Orchestra (1962), she knelt on the stage and repeatedly hit her head against the floor. Pervading these works were proto-feminist questions about the nature of personal violation and violence, which found later expression in Rape (1969), a cinematic exposition on the victimization of women.
In the spring of 1961, Ono began a group of paintings and objects which paralleled her performances in their subject matter and their dependence on chance and audience participation. These works were conceived initially as written performance scripts: the instructions for Painting to Be Stepped On were to "leave a piece of canvas or finished painting on the floor or in the street." >Painting to Be Stepped On< became an actualpiece of canvas, lying on the floor. Likewise, Painting to Hammer a Nail became a white board with a hammer attached to it, ready to receive the nails that the audience was encouraged to pound into its surface. In Smoke Painting (1961), whose instructions were to light a canvas with a cigarette and observe the ensuing smoke, or Painting for the Wind (1961), whose structure allowed the wind to disperse seeds around the world.Painting to See a Room Through (1961) was a canvas with a tiny, almost invisible hole in its center that one peered through to see the room; Painting to See the Skies (1961) contained two holes in the canvas through which viewers could see the sky.
Some of these pieces were intended to be completed only in the mind. Painting to Be Constructed in Your Head (1962) called for viewers to observe three paintings carefully and then to mix them well in their heads. Part Painting (1961) instructed viewers to rearrange mentally, in any way they desired, the various pieces of a painting that Ono had scattered around the room. Her goal in transferring realization exclusively to the imagination was to further the viewers' sense of wonderment and extend their creative potentialto "allow them to release their inhibitions and allow their own rather nebulous thoughts a freedom of expression."
In July 1961, Ono exhibited a selection of these early works at the AG Gallery on Madison Avenue, which George Maciunas had opened with Almus Salcius. Maciunas closed the gallery several months later and moved temporarily to Europe.
Apart from her exhibition at the AG Gallery, Ono's public activities concentrated primarily on conceptual and performance events until 1966. In September of that year she was invited to participate in the "Destruction in Art Symposium," a conference of artists from around the world which was held in London.
Ono's Indica Gallery exhibition, in November 1966, included a new group of audience-participation pieces as well as text and objects. Pointedness (1964)whose text reads, "This sphere will be a sharp point when it gets to the far corners of the room in your mind".resonates with the perplexing obscurity of a Zen construct. Likewise, the glass keys in Keys to Open the Skies exist less as physical objects than as springboards for poetic ruminations, about a world beyond the rational one of time and space.Three Spoons (1967) confounded verbal common sense by presenting four spoons, while the sign This Is Not Here (1966) did the same by denying verifiable reality.
By 1967, when Ono's "Half-a-Wind Show" opened at the Lisson Gallery, she had unleashed her poetic speculations about the nature of reality. Her inclusion in this exhibition of a room of furniture and functional objects, all cut in half, was meant to suggest that memory and the realities in the mind are as potent and eternal as those of concrete, physical presences. Ono's ambition to alter the viewer's sense of reality is further apparent from her admonition to viewers to remain in the white room she had created for the exhibition "until it turns blue." That the reality Ono wished her audience to appreciate includes the immaterial is underscored by her warning caption on Disappearing Piece that "the object in this box will evaporate when the lid is opened."
Ono's first films emerged in the mid-1960s. Indeed, many of Ono's early films took the form of film scripts in which the viewer was instructed in how to perceive or imagine a film.
For example, in her early Fluxus film, No.1 (Match) (1966), the single gesture of lighting a match became a metaphor for the light of the projector and the illumination of its subject. Filling the screen, the match appeared within its own light and was consumed by the light-making process.
Yoko Ono's Fluxus films Eyeblink, No. 1 (Match), and No. 4 (Bottoms) (all from 1966), provocatively debunked the authority of the camera and the tradition of passive spectatorship. As with her Fluxus colleagues, Ono sought to confront the viewer and to expose the fictions and realities of the camera's representation of the world around us.
Thus, in Film Script 5 (1964), Ono makes us create our own movie and forces us to realize how a film is composed and manipulated by instructing us to look at a particular action"not to look at Rock Hudson, but only Doris Day." In Film No. 1 (A Walk to Taj Mahal) (1964), the camera and audience participate in various actions which blur the distinction between audience and film. The film consists of snowfall only. By identifying the camera with the audience, the audience feels as if they are the ones who are walking in the snow.
Ono produced sixteen films between 1966 and 1982. Her best-known and mostcelebrated film, No. 4 (1966), established her interest in the body and the filmic strategies she would pursue in representing it. Known as Bottoms, this film is composed of a series of shots of people's moving backsides, framed and edited so that the entire screen is filled with one bare bottom after another. The soundtrack that accompanied the second version is made up of the comments of the unidentified subjects of the film talking about the process of being filmed. In the following years Ono produced films, such as Film No. s (Smile) (1968), which celebrated her relationship with John Lennon, whom she had met in 1966. In Two Virgins (1968), Ono created short lyrical expressions of their love by filmically fusing images of their bodies.
Celebrity status and feminism became subtexts in another of Ono's most complex and engaging films, Rape (1969). This film took as its premise a conceptual idea that Ono gave to a camera crew: select a person at random and follow that person with a camera. The subject was a German-speaking woman in London whom the crew encountered and doggedly pursued to her apartment. The woman's initial curiosity and openness turned to frustration and anger as the camera relentlessly followed her. The uniqueness of this film derives from the viewers' confusion about what is happening on screen: is this woman, in fact, being pursued, or is she an actress? She does not speak English, yet we can understand her actions and emotions. This film explores issues of the camera as a transgressor of privacy, and, by extension, of the male film crew and ourselves as viewer-voyeur.
In 1990 inspired by an offer of an exhibition from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ono replicated more than a dozen of her earlier works in bronze.
Ono's first public music performance took place at the village gate, New York in 1961.
Ono's Village Gate concert was followed by a solo evening of performances, presented at the Carnegie Recital Hall on November 24, 1961, and restaged at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo in 1962. These concerts comprised three pieces: A Grapefruit in the World of Park, A Piece for Strawberries and Violins (see descriptions pp. 4, 5 respectively) and AOS. In this later work, Ono wrapped two performers in gauze, back to back, and dangled an assortment of empty bottles and cans from their ankles and waists. Their instructions were to walk from one end of the stage to the other, without making any noise. This injunction against sound, coupled with the difficulty of one performer moving backwards while the other moved forward, caused them to move extremely slowlyan effect which resembled a slow-motion film.
Ono's 1965 concert at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York was a series of Events, the most arresting of which was Cut Piece (see description pp. so s2). Among the other Events performed were Bag Piece, in which Ono and a male assistant crawled into a huge black bag, removed their clothes, and took a nap while another performer rode a bicycle slowly around the auditorium and across the stage. Ono and her assistant redressed in the bag and exited, taking the bag with them. Other inclusions were Strip-tease for Three, in which three wooden chairs were spotlighted on an empty stage, and Snake Piece from AOS, which began with the announcement that a snake had been let loose in the darkened auditorium; from time to time, strange noises were heard as one performer, bound and dragging chains, hobbled across the stage. The program ended with Clock Piece, in which a clock was placed at center stage and the audience was told that the piece would end when the alarm rang. Those members of the audience who went up to the stage to investigate discovered the clock had neither arms nor alarm.
- Piece from AOS
Theatre or auditorium is without light.
It is announced that members of audience must find their own means of light for the ". . search. . ."
It is announced that a snake, butterfly, rabbit, grapefruit or a body, or anything the announcer thought he wished to see on the day of the production, has been released or hidden in the audience and the audience must find it.
Two performers who have been tightly bound together with rope then proceed from one wing or side of the stage to the other wing or side and back as quickly as possible and without making any audible sound.
The two performers must be tightly bound together, back to back, or front to front, or side to side, or with one performer upside down, or in any position in which they may be tightly bound together. Atiached to their bounds must be tin cans, bottles or any objects that would make noise upon movement.
*The title of the piece is to be that word which the announcer has chosen to say has been released or hidden. Whatever it is, it should not actually be released or hidden, but only announced to that effect.
- Bicycle Piece for Orchestra:Ride bicycles anywhere you can in t concert hall.Do not make any noise./y o 1962 autumn
- Laundry Piece:In entertaining your guests, bring o, your laundry of the day and explain to them about each item.How and when it became dirty and why, etc./y.o. 1963 summer
- Wall Piece I:Sleep two walls away from each other.Whisper to each other./Y.O. 1963 autumn
- Touch Poem for Group of People:Touch each other./ y.o. 1963 winter
- Question Piece: Two people on stage asking questions to each other and not answering. /This piece was first performed in Tokyo, 1962, at the Sogetsu Art Center
- Beat Piece:Listen to a heart beat. /y 0. 1963 autumn
- Laugh Piece:Keep laughing a week./y.o. 1961 winter
- Wall Piece for Orchestra:Hit a wall with your head./y.o. 1962winter
- Collecting Piece:Collect sounds in your mind tbat you have overheard through the week.Repeat them in your mind in different orde one afternoon./y o. -1963 autumn
Yoko Ono by her own words
After unblocking one's mind, by dispensing with visual, auditory' and kinetic perceptions, what will come out of us? Would there be anything? I wonder. And my Events are mostly spent in wonderment.
People talk about happening. They say that art is headed towards that direction, that happening is assimilating the arts. I don't believe in collectivism of art nor in having only one direction in anything. I think it is nice to return to having many different arts, including happening, just as having many flowers. In fact, we could have more arts: "smell," "weight," "taste," "cry," "anger," (competition of anger, that sort of thing), etc. People might say that we never experience things separately, they are always in fusion, and that is why "the happening," which is a fusion of all sensory perceptions. Yes, I agree, but if that is so, it is all the more reason and challenge to create a sensory experience isolated from other sensory experiences, which is something rare in daily life. Art is not merely a duplication of life. To assimilate art in life is different from art duplicating life.
The mind is omnipresent, events in life never happen alone and the history is forever increasing its volume. The natural state of life and mind is complexity. At this point, what art can offer (if it can at allto me it seems) is an absence of complexity, a vacuum through which you are led to a state of complete relaxation of mind. After that you may return to the complexity of life again, it may not be the same, or it may be' or you may never return, but that is your problem.
Mental richness should be worried just as physical richness. Didn't Christ say tbat it was like a camel trying to pass through a needle hole, for John Cage to go to heaven? I think it is nice to abandon what you have as much as possible, as many mental possessions as the physical ones, as they clutter your mind. It is nice to maintain poverty of environment, sound' thinkina and belief. It is nice to keep oneself small' like a grain of rice, instead of expanding. Make yourself dispensable, like paper. See little' hear little, and think little.
Excerpts from Ono's To the Wesleyan People, 1966
Yoko Ono- Arias and objects by Haskell und Hanhardt, Peregrine Smith Books, Salt Lak City 1991
YES -Yoko Ono, Harry N. Abrams,NY 2000 - ISBN 0-8109-4587-8
Fluxus Codex , John Hendricks,