Yoko Ono

1933 (Tokio), lives and works in New York

After commencing her musical studies at the Sarah Lawrence-College, New York, in 1952 and first compositions in 1955, Yoko Ono continued her philosophical studies. The works of the American-Japanese artist, filmmaker, composer of experimental music and singer, Yoko Ono, are manifold and correspond to the artistic atmosphere of departure, especially in the 1960ies.

It was already at the end of the 1950ies that Yoko Ono first appeared with the Fluxus movement around George Maciunas, John Cage, Merce Cunningham or Yvonne Rainer, in order to overcome the boundaries between sublime art and everyday life by integrating the public. Through instructions such as Light a match and watch till it goes out, 1955, or her famous Cut Piece, 1962, in which she has the public cut her clothes off her body with scissors - a cutting tool -, Ono makes an issue of the role of women and artists from a feminist point of view, as well as the problem of time, duration and interaction. Her field of action stretches from Fluxus to Happening, Action art, Performance and Concept art.

In the context of social and political change - it is the time of beginning civil rights movements, of the Vietnam war and of Women’s Lib - art searches for and pursues independence from the traditional material art object, extends its field of action and uses communication structures in a massive, offensive manner. Artists use autobiographic experiences or their attempts to extend the boundaries of space and time. Thus Yoko Ono developed a strongly socio-critical, politically committed attitude in her work, defending the peace movement and human rights, without committing herself to a certain medium. In doing so, she considers all media linked to each other in an equivalent crossover and interdisciplinarity, an approach that meets her intention to tear down that which divides men, art and everyday life, beholders and the works of art.

In 1972, the artist participated in the Kassel documenta5, in 1987, she participated again in documenta8.