YOKO ONO HALF-A-WIND SHOW – A RETROSPECTIVE

Så er der dømt sommerferie, for mine eksamener er overstået, og jeg er stadig i live. Pludselig opdager jeg, at verden stadig findes her på den anden side. Der er nu tid til at lave sjove ting, så i dag, på denne højhellige søndag, tog jeg til Louisiana for at se lidt nærmere på Yoko Onos kunst.

Jeg tror, at der er flere, der kender Yoko Ono som den lille japanske kvinde med lange lokker, der bjergtog John Lennon og sang en duet med ham i ny og næ om fred og frihed. Det gjorde hun også, men hun gjorde godt nok også meget andet, og det kan man tage nordpå for at se på Louisiana, der iøjeblikket skildrer hendes kunstneriske bedrifter gennem fem årtier med udstillingen “Yoko Ono Half-a-wind show – A Retrospective.”

 Yoko Ono | Photo by Bjarke Ørsted © Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Yoko Ono | Photo by Bjarke Ørsted © Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

I begyndelsen af udstillingen kan man få et biografisk overblik over Yoko Onos liv og kunstneriske virke. Jeg udvalgte visse hovedoverskrifter, så jeg var sikker på at have energi til at fordybe mig i værkerne, for det var selve Yoko Onos kunst, som jeg var nysgerrig efter at se og opleve. Flere værker indbyder til interaktion, hvilket allerede sker til at starte med, hvor man skal vælge mellem flere indgange til udstillingen; bl.a. en indgang udformet som en slags rutsjebane eller en smal passage med spejle, som man kan smyge sig igennem, mens man ser på sig selv. Allerede med denne entré, åbnes der op til Yoko Onos univers. Herefter er der tilbageblik på hendes kunstneriske virke; flere installationer er repræsenteret, der er videoer af hendes performances og håndskrevne instruktioner til værker i glas og ramme. Derudover fik jeg for to kroner trukket frisk luft i en automat. Luften er lukket inde i en lille plastikkugle, og nu står den her på min hylde. Som beskuer har man altså mulighed for at være med sammen med Yoko Ono ved at bruge sin krop og træffe nogle valg under udstillingen. Det er umuligt at være passiv beskuer for at opleve udstillingen helt – om ikke andet er der værker, som får dit ansigt til at smile eller forvrænges ved undren, og måske må du knibe øjnene en smule sammen for at se nærmere.

Under udstillingen blev jeg ført tilbage til avantgardemiljøet i New York, indlemmet i fluxus-bevægelsens koncepter. Generelt oplevede jeg værker med idéen i centrum frem for materialet som det vigtigste. Man skal altså ikke regne med at komme forbi Yoko Onos værker og udøve smagsdomme; nærmere handler hendes værker om at sætte sig ind i koncepterne og tage stilling til idéen, der går forud for værket. Jeg synes udstillingen er værd at se, og jeg synes den giver et bredt indblik i Yoko Onos kunst, men også et indblik i avantgarde- og fluxus-bevægelsens idéer og fremgangsmåder. Jeg så netop udstillingen som et udsnit af disse bevægelser og som en måde at komme dem nærmere på og se andre variationer.

Her kan du se en video af performanceværket ‘Cut Piece’ fra 1964, som Yoko Ono udførte sammen med sit publikum i flere byer.

 
 

I Infinite Universe at Dawn, som udkom i forbindelse med Yoko’s 80 års fødselsdag, kan du læse hendes tanker om værket:

“Cut Piece is about freeing yourself from yourself…
Traditionally, the artist’s ego is in the artist’s work. In other words, the artist must give the artist’s ego to the audience. I had always wanted to produce work without ego in it. I was thinking of this motif more and more, and the result of this was Cut Piece. Instead of giving the audience what the artist chooses to give, the artist gives what the audience chooses to take. That is to say, you cut and take whatever part you want; that was my feeling about its purpose.

It is a form of giving that has a lot to do with Buddhism. There’s a small allegorical story about Buddha. He left his castle with his wife and children and was walking towards a mountain to go into meditation. As he was walking along, a man said that he wanted Buddha’s children because he wanted to sell them or something. So Buddha gave him his children. Then someone said he wanted Buddha’s wife and he gave him his wife. Someone calls that he is cold, so Buddha gives him his clothes. Finally a tiger comes along and says he wants to eat him and Buddha lets the tiger eat him. And in the moment the tiger eats him, it became enlightened. That’s a form of total giving as opposed to reasonable giving like “logically you deserve this” or “I think this is good, therefore I am giving this to you.”

In the Sixties clothes were very important to me because I had so few. But when I performed Cut Piece I always made sure to wear my best suit. It was the total offering. I lost my best suit every time I performed the piece. To think that it would be OK to use the cheapest clothes because it was going to be cut anyway would be wrong; it’s against my intentions. I was poor at the time, and it was hard. This event I repeated in several different places, and my wardrobe got smaller and smaller. However, when I sat on stage in front of the audience, I felt that this was my genuine contribution. This is how I really felt.

The audience was quiet and still, and I felt that everyone was holding their breath. While I was doing it, I was staring into space. I felt kind of like I was praying. I also felt that I was willingly sacrificing myself. It wasn’t a feminist issue, per se. It has to do with the positive and negative side of giving, but we can make it positive. And the funny thing was, most people thought of the other side, which is the body being violated. But when this piece was performed by Charlotte Moorman in a nunnery, the nuns said, “Well, this is what we’re doing.” They bypassed the sexual connotation totally and just understood the philosophical connotation and the positive side, which was to be giving.

When I went to London – swinging London, at the time – the minute I put the scissors in front of me, 20 people came up on the stage and made me totally naked. Oops! It depends on the audience really; it’s a dialogue between me and the audience.

It always draws something out of people. At Carnegie Hall, it seemed to draw violence out of the audience, like a poison. It is a frightening piece to perform. Very tense, but I wanted to show that we have to trust each other. If I’m going to say that, I have to do it myself. I have to trust people myself. It could be a bit dangerous.

I did Cut Piece again in Paris in 2003. The difference from 1965 was people were much more scared for me. Sean, who doesn’t come to my performances as much, flew all the way to Paris, and stood on the side of the audience to protect me. That was sweet. My friends said to me: you need a bodyguard, but my principle was that we have to trust each other. In Cut Piece I ask people to come on stage and each cut off one piece of my clothing. This time I asked that they send that piece of clothes to the person they love. When I did it in 1965 I did it as a woman confronting turbulence and anger, and I was communicating just with a small group of people – mostly artists and intellectuals. Last time, it was anybody. It was a wider audience. I did it with love for the world and you and me. If you can carry some feeling of love for each other, that’s very important.” – Yoko Ono.

 All photos by Brøndum/Poul Buchard © Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

All photos by Brøndum/Poul Buchard © Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Endnu mere interessant er kombinationen af de to særudstillinger, man kan opleve henover sommeren på Louisiana. Udstillingen med Tara Donovan er forlænget. Det er interessant at se kunsts spændevidde, da der er tale om Yoko Onos univers, hvor idé kommer før materiale modsat Tara Donovans eksperimenterende måde at behandle materialer på. Jeg synes Tara Donovans værker er helt fantastiske.

Tara Donovan kan ses frem til d. 28. juli, 2013, og Yoko Ono Half-A-Wind Show – A Retrospective kan ses til d. 29. september 2013.

Ditte Rasmussen (f. 1987) er cand.mag i Moderne Kultur og Kulturformidling med en bachelor i Kunsthistorie. Ditte har bidraget til idoart.dk siden 2013.