Yoko Ono Essay

596 Words3 Pages
The representation of the human body and art has been controversial since the introduction of performance art. Performance art constitutes as any activity presented in front of a live audience and incorporates music, dance, poetry, or theater. The art of using body as an art form came about in the 1960s, when artists had the desire to communicate directly to their audience through movement and form. Performance art created an emotional experience and interpretation that more conventional art, such as a painting or a sculpture, could not express.
Performance art became more popular in the late 1960s, and was commonly referred as “actions,” emerging from the reinterpretation of “action painting,” where art focused on the body and where the
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For Yoko Ono, she expected to be given equal consideration as her partner, John Lennon. Ono used conceptual art and performance art. On performance she did was entitled Cut Piece, and was first performed in 1964. The piece, which consisted of Ono being the art form, was dressed and kneeling. With a pair of scissors, she would invite viewers to start cutting pieces of her clothes off, creating a performance piece, a “happening.” Ono’s performance confronted the issue of the female gender, becoming unconscious to the public ritual, and enabling vulnerability. Cut Piece creates an interpersonal relationship between the artist, the object, and the viewer. Near the end of the performance when the last piece of clothing is cut (which happens to be her bra strap), she begins to move, but holds herself to cover her breasts. The female form is directly addressed by Ono becoming the art piece, and becoming a sexual object. She does not speak throughout the performance, but near the end her emotions begin to change and can show that she becomes uncomfortable. During the 1960s, like fighting for equality and women’s rights, women were also fighting for the respect of their bodies. For Ono, Cut Piece can be seen as a way of possibly reclaiming and protecting the respect of her body, by exposing it to others to degrade by cutting off her
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