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CUT PIECE (1964)

CUT PIECE (1964) by Yoko Ono official
CUT PIECE (1964), a photo by Yoko Ono official on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
by Yoko Ono

Performed by Yoko Ono on July 20, 1964
at Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan.
Photographer unknown;
courtesy Lenono Photo Archive.

YOKO ONO’S CUT PIECE From Text to Performance and Back Again
by Kevin Concannon

Art is inexorably bound up in the situation where it is
produced and where it is experienced. You can emphasize this,
or you can emphasize where it is produced or experienced: you
can even equate them, and emphasize the equation. The
relationship exists in any case, and, either as artist or as
audience, we are in a situation analogous to a swimmer who
may fight the surf, dive through it and struggle against it
until he gets out beyond where the surf is noticeable: or
else this swimmer can roll with the waves.
Dick Higgins, Postface (1964) [1]

The seemingly sudden and recent popularity of reprise
performances of live artworks of the 1960s and 1970s has been
greeted with an equally abundant supply of critical analysis,
much of which frames these events as “reenactments.” Such is
the case with Yoko Ono’s 2003 performance of her 1964 Cut
Piece. It was performed by Ono on at least six occasions and
by others many times more. The first two performances took
place in Kyoto and Tokyo in July and August 1964. The third
performance was presented at Carnegie Recital Hall in New
York City in March 1965. And the fourth and fifth
performances were offered as part of the Destruction in Art
Symposium presentation of Two Evenings with Yoko Ono at the
Africa Centre in London in September 1966. While Ono
“directed” later performances of the work, these were - until
September 2003 - the only confirmed occasions on which she
herself publicly performed it.

In these first performances by Ono, the artist sat kneeling
on the concert hall stage, wearing her best suit of clothing,
with a pair of scissors placed on the floor in front of her.
Members of the audience were invited to approach the stage,
one at a time, and cut a bit of her clothes off - which they
were allowed to keep. The score for Cut Piece appears, along
with those for several other works, in a document from
January 1966 called Strip Tease Show.

Cut Piece First version for single performer:
Performer sits on stage with a pair of scissors in front of him.
It is announced that members of the audience may come on stage
- one at a time - to cut a small piece of the performer’s
clothing to take with them.
Performer remains motionless throughout the piece.
Piece ends at the performer’s option.

Second version for audience:
It is announced that members of the audience may cut each other’s
The audience may cut as long as they wish.

And in the 1971 paperback edition of her book, Grapefruit,
Ono included not so much a score as a description, concluding
with the statement that, “the performer, however, does not
have to be a woman.”

In her catalogue essay for the 2005 exhibition, Life, Once
More: Forms of Reenactment in Contemporary Art, Jennifer
Allen characterizes Ono’s 2003 performance of Cut Piece as a
“reenactment,” and imputes to the artist rather grand
ambitions for the event.

In September 2003 at Paris’s Ranelagh Theatre, Yoko Ono
reenacted her own Cut Piece as an expression of her hope for
world peace…. One could argue that the original performances
of the sixties and seventies needed to be reenacted in order
to catch up with the spectacle, in order to be reproduced, in
order to exist. Ono’s intervention seems to differ since she
decided to reenact Cut Piece, not for an exhibition, but for
the mass media, and not merely to ensure the continued
existence of her work, but in order to make a difference in
the present. In France, the organizers placed a full - page
advert for the event with a statement by Ono who described
her intervention as a response to the political changes in
the wake of 9/11. Her statement appeared around the world for
a little bit longer than fifteen minutes. It seems that Ono
hoped that her performance would reenact the peace movement
of the sixties on a global scale. In this case, the
reenactment searched for a lost totality, not in the
performance, but in an entire generation. [2]

There are a number of problems with this assessment. Most
importantly, the very notion that Ono reenacted her own work
seems to miss the point of an event score entirely. In the
two score variations quoted above, Ono refers to the
performer in the third person - and makes it clear that the
performer may be either male or female. Thus there is no
sense of an “original” performance - or any sense of priority
for the artist’s own performances - even after the fact. The
texts are not so much documents of a singular performance as
the performances are realizations of the score. And whether
these realizations are made by the artist herself or another
performer - or whether they are made in 1964 or 2007 - makes
little difference in this regard. While Allen suggests that
performances of the sixties and seventies might be reenacted
“in order to be reproduced, in order to exist,” she seems to
recognize that there is more than this behind Ono’s 2003
performance when she notes that Ono mounted her Paris
performance “not merely to ensure the continued existence of
her work, but in order to make a difference in the present.”

Having conceived Cut Piece as an event score, Ono foresaw the
work’s realization in a succession of presents. And from the
start, she understood that in each of these presents the work
would be transformed - not from any authentic original, but
from an idea into an experience - each one distinct from the
others. Ono has described her instruction works - or scores - as
“seeds,” activated individually and collectively in the minds
and actions of those who receive them. And as is often the
case with her work, this germinating idea is manifest in
multiple variations.

At earlier performances of Cut Piece, Ono has discussed the
work in several different ways. As will be clarified below,
she has characterized it as a test of her commitment to life
as an artist, as a challenge to artistic ego, as a gift, and
as a spiritual act. Critics over the years have interpreted
Cut Piece as a striptease, a protest against violence and
against war (specifically the Vietnam War), and most recently
(and most frequently) as a feminist work. In September 2003,
at the age of seventy, Ono performed Cut Piece in Paris “for
world peace.” Thirty - nine years after her first performance
of the work, she told Reuters News Agency that she did it
“against ageism, against racism, against sexism, and against
violence.” Although neither Ono nor her critics framed Cut
Piece as a feminist work in the 1960s when she was first
performing it, she has clearly subsumed the subsequent
feminist interpretations of her piece into her own revised
intention all these years later.

John Lennon noted on more than one occasion that Ono was “the
world’s most famous unknown artist.” Although Ono had already
established a fairly substantial reputation in London by the
time she first met Lennon in November 1966, her subsequent
liaison with the married Beatle soon eclipsed her growing
reputation as a prominent avant - garde artist. And after
marrying Lennon she became “the woman who broke up the
Beatles,” and consequently an object of scorn in the
worldwide press. In addition to losing her artistic identity
(in the popular press) and being labeled a homewrecker, Ono
bore the brunt of an onslaught of racism and sexism that is
still hard to fathom thirty - odd years later. It is hardly
surprising then that she now offers her performance against
racism and against sexism. And, having last performed it in
the eighth decade of her life, ageism has become part of her
personal experience as well. To borrow Higgins’s metaphor,
she is rolling with the waves (or perhaps the punches).

In recent years, even before the current vogue for
“reenactment,” Ono’s work has become an increasingly popular
subject of art - historical reclamation, culminating in the
recent retrospective exhibition and book, Yes Yoko Ono. Since
her reemergence onto the art scene (having been virtually
ignored by the artworld during her years with Lennon) with a
small exhibition of bronzes at the Whitney Museum in 1989,
the majority of authors who have considered her work as a
visual artist (or a recording artist, for that matter) have
presented her work as “proto - feminist,” typically citing Cut
Piece, as a major example from the sixties. The act of art
historical description and interpretation is a form of
“reenactment” as well, of course. Allen’s contention that
performances might be reenacted “to catch up with the
spectacle, in order to be reproduced, in order to exist,”
seems to imply that the “event” of the performance is a
“media event” of sorts - prompting the consequential press (or
art - historical literature) as its objective. In the case of
the performance reenactments of which she writes, however, it
seems more likely that it is exactly the other way around.
That is, it is the art - historical attention that prompts the

While Ono’s own earlier discussions of the work’s inspiration
and “meaning” certainly accommodate any number of different
readings, the current dominance of feminist
approaches - something the artist herself has clearly accepted
and reinvested into her 2003 performance - or at least her
discussion of it - has had the cumulative effect of recasting
Cut Piece as one - dimensional - and in the process ironically
marginalizing the very work these feminist scholars seek to
reclaim for history - and indeed have. As shall become clear,
the differences between Ono’s own earlier explanations of the
piece and the feminist framings by critics writing since
Ono’s 1989 reemergence are substantial, though certainly not
irreconcilable. These differences can be understood, of
course, in the context of the hermeneutics to which Higgins
alludes in the epigraph. Elsewhere, he has proposed that
hermeneutics is an ideal approach with which to critically
consider Fluxus performances. Paraphrasing Hans - Georg
Gadamer, Higgins explains:

The performer performs the work. He or she establishes a
horizon of experience - what is done, its implications and
whatever style the performer uses are all aspects of this

The viewer has his or her own horizon of experience. He or
she watches the performance, and the horizons are matched up
together. To some extent there is a fusion of these horizons
(Horizontverschmelzung). When the horizons fuse, wholly or in
part, they are bent, warped, displaced, altered. The
performance ends, and the horizons are no longer actively
fused. The viewer examines his or her horizon. It is changed,
for the better or for the worse. The best piece is the one
that permanently affects the recipient’s horizon, and the
worst is the piece which the recipient, acting in good faith,
cannot accept at all. [3]

While Ono’s Cut Piece is not necessarily a Fluxus work,
Gadamer’s hermeneutic model is entirely appropriate, as I
will demonstrate below. But first, a review of the work’s
critical reception is in order. My first example raises the
important question of documentation in addition to the
current pervasiveness of the work’s feminist interpretation.

In 1992 artist Lynn Hershman was commissioned to re - document
Cut Piece for European television. Working from photos and
texts, as well as a first - hand account of one of Ono’s
performances that a colleague of hers had seen, Hershman
created a fifteen - minute video documentation of a 1993
performance staged with three actors specifically for this
purpose. Her attempts to interview Ono for the project were
unsuccessful. Cut Piece: A Video Homage to Yoko Ono concludes
with a discussion between art historians Moira Roth and
Whitney Chadwick; the tape had been produced with the
classroom in mind, Hershman told an interviewer in 1993.

One of the most obvious ways in which the video seems to
deviate from the original performance score is in its
splicing together of three performances by three different
women. Hershman saw Cut Piece in terms of “feminism,
violence, and risk” and recreated it with the idea of “video
cutting as a type of violence as well.” When asked why she
chose to present performances by three women, Hershman
replied: “I think she represented everywoman, not just one.”

Another scene, in which a man from the audience approaches
the stage and raises the scissors in a threatening gesture
(though ultimately lowering his arm and simply cutting her
dress) is based on written accounts of a similar event that
is said to have occurred during the first performance in

While some of the earlier accounts of Cut Piece performances
refer to the audience’s behavior as sexually aggressive, it
is not until Barbara Haskell and John G. Hanhardt’s 1991
book, Yoko Ono: Objects and Arias, that Cut Piece is given a
specifically feminist reading - and a somewhat qualified
feminist reading at that:

Running through much of Ono’s work is a bold commentary on
women. Yet far from being strident feminist tracts on the
subordination and victimization of women, her pieces achieve
power because of their ambiguity; their willingness to
forfeit the illusion of politically proper thinking throws
responsibility for judgment upon the viewer. [5]

Three years later, though, in Marcia Tanner’s catalogue essay
for the 1994 Bad Girls exhibition, the author calls Cut Piece
“fiercely feminist in content” and explains:

Ono’s inspiration for Cut Piece was the legend of the Buddha,
who had renounced his life of privilege to wander the world,
giving whatever was asked of him. His soul achieved supreme
enlightenment when he allowed a tiger to devour his body, and
Ono saw parallels between the Buddha’s selfless giving and
the artist’s. When addressing serious issues - in this case
voyeurism, sexual aggression, gender subordination, violation
of a woman’s personal space, violence against women - Ono
invariably found means to combine dangerous confrontation
with poetry, spirituality, personal vulnerability, and edgy
laughter. [6]

Within five years, Haskell and Hanhardt’s rather tentative
feminist interpretation had become dominant, cropping up
regularly in the popular press as well. Cut Piece wasn’t
always a feminist statement, however. Cut Piece is an
incredibly rich and poetic work that raises questions about
the nature of the artist - audience relationship, and in so
doing, deliberately offers its performers, audiences, and
critics an opportunity to project their own “meaning” into
the work.

While Ono clearly has no objections to the feminist readings
that currently prevail, her recent comments also suggest that
she understands that “hindsight is twentytwenty.” In 1994
interviewer Robert Enright asked her, while discussing one of
her films, “Did you think of yourself as a proto - feminist?”
She responded: “I didn’t have any notion of feminism. When I
went to London and got together with John that was the
biggest macho scene imaginable. That’s when I made the
statement ‘Woman is the Nigger of the World.’”7 It was 1969
when she made that statement to Nova, a British women’s
magazine. And in 1972 she and Lennon would issue a
controversial pop single of the same title.

Two years earlier, after she had met Lennon, but before she
had “gotten together” with him, she directed a performance of
Cut Piece as part of a “happening.” The 14 Hour Technicolour
Dream Extravaganza at London’s Alexandra Palace in April 1967
was the epitome of swinging London - and the epitome of the
macho scene to which Ono referred. Lennon was in the audience
that night, and the band Pink Floyd was also on the bill. A
film of the event shows Ono’s then - husband, Tony Cox,
presiding over the performance, which featured model Carol
Mann. An enormous crowd presses against Mann, who is perched
on a large stepladder, wearing granny glasses and smoking a
cigarette. In contrast to the solemn air that envelops Ono in
her own performances of Cut Piece, the Alexandra Palace
performance seems a mob scene - a spectacle. While one would be
hard - pressed to present this performance as feminist, Ono
clearly accepted authorship of this performance as
photographs of this event were used in subsequent publicity
for her later concerts.

How, then, did Ono herself talk about Cut Piece when she was
first performing it? Discussing the work in a 1967 article in
a London underground magazine, Ono told her interviewers: It
was a form of giving, giving and taking. It was a kind of
criticism against artists, who are always giving what they
want to give. I wanted people to take whatever they wanted
to, so it was very important to say you can cut wherever you
want to. 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 or
something. 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.” [8]

This is the very same story alluded to by Bad Girls author
Tanner, above. Yet Tanner characterizes the story as a kind
of poetic spirituality in which Ono cloaked her “serious
issues,” namely feminist issues.

By 1973 Ono was widely considered a “radical feminist.” Only
a year earlier, for example, the record Woman is the Nigger
of the World had been greeted with great controversy in the
mainstream press. Yet in 1974 she discussed Cut Piece at
length in an autobiographical essay written for a Japanese
magazine - with no reference at all to feminist politics.

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. I went onto the stage
wearing the best suit I had. 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. [9]

The idea of giving the audience what it wishes to take is
very much bound up with hermeneutics - or reception theory - the
idea that it is the viewer as much as the artist who invests
a work of art with meaning. Cut Piece’s reception - the meaning
with which it is invested - is as varied as its audiences.

One of the earliest reviews of Cut Piece that I have been
able to find is of Ono’s second performance of the work in
August 1964 in Tokyo. The headline translates as: “The title
is ‘Stripping’ - avant - garde musician, Ono Yoko’s recital.” And
it continues: In the center of the stage without any props,
under the hazy spot light, a woman sits. From their seats,
members of the audience ran up onto the stage and started to
cut off her clothing with scissors. Soon, the scissors cut
even to her underwear. With the theme ‘Stripping,’ it is a
scene from Ono Yoko’s recital held at Sogetsu Art Center the
other day. [10]

After listing the other works performed, it concludes: “Now,
one may say ‘there, the sign of essence was performed’ and
bow down his head, and others may say ‘If no sounds were
made, give me back my money’ and raise their arms in the air.
Anyway, avant - garde music is a mysterious thing.” This
anything - but - feminist reading of Cut Piece in the Japanese
press can perhaps be better understood when one realizes that
another piece on the program, listed in this review as Chair
Piece, was actually titled Strip Tease for Three. It involved
simply a curtain rising to reveal three empty chairs on the
stage and then descending.

In June 1968, however, a similar characterization of Cut
Piece - along with a suite of provocative photographs - was
presented in the pages of TAB, a New York “gentlemen’s
magazine.” With a headline, “The Hippiest Artistic Happening:
‘Step Up and Strip Me Nude,’” the brief article continued:

Though Time magazine called her performance “music of the
mind,” and Art and Artists in London described it as “the
next logical step,” Yoko Ono’s “art” striptease still seems
like a striptease to excited viewers. The difference here is
that Yoko, a Japanese lovely now performing on the continent,
does not take her clothing off . . . the audience does it for
her. Guys who used to sit back and yell “Take it off!” now
have the golden opportunity to take it off for her. [11]

Published only weeks prior to the revelation of Ono’s affair
with Lennon, the author’s characterization of the artist as a
“Japanese lovely” stands in stark contrast to the
descriptions of her as “ugly” that would soon predominate.

A canonically feminist work since the 1990s, Cut Piece began
its life quite differently. But Ono’s aesthetics of reception
accommodate both these readings and many more too numerous to
review in these pages. Interpretations of Cut Piece as a
feminist work and as a striptease are ultimately at least as
revealing of those respective interpreters as they are of the
artist who conceived the work. For if Cut Piece is both these
things and more, it is foremost a work that challenges our
notions of what a work of art is and who actually makes it - a
conceptual work.

Curiously, Cut Piece has received considerably more press in
the past seventeen years than during the three or four years
that Ono initially performed it - all incidentally before her
famous liaison with Lennon. And for the most part, this
expert opinion has been based on previously published
descriptions and photographs. As it turns out, while Ono’s
staff had unknowingly informed artist Lynn Hershman
otherwise, there is a film of the 1965 Carnegie Recital Hall
performance of Cut Piece made by Albert and David Maysles - and
others as well. I discovered this film in late 1996 while
researching a catalogue essay for Ono’s 1996 FLY exhibition
and subsequently found other films as well. While I had
screened it at conferences in 1997, its first major public
showings occurred within the Out of Actions exhibition at
L.A. MoCA in 1998. From this point on, most writers and
performers worked from this film document.

As noted earlier, Ono had always intended Cut Piece to be
performed by men or women. The first documented male
performance of Cut Piece (that I’ve been able to find,
anyway) took place in Central Park on September 9, 1966, as
part of the Fourth Annual Avant - Garde Festival organized by
Charlotte Moorman. Ono had been scheduled to perform Cut
Piece, but left suddenly for London and the Destruction in
Art Symposium. Ono’s performance had already been publicized
though, so Moorman hastily arranged for two men to perform
the piece in Ono’s stead. Apparently facing problems with
nudity and her parks permit, the performers appeared in large
black bags that were cut off instead of their clothing - a
conflation of Ono’s Bag Piece and Cut Piece. For what was in
all likelihood the first male performance of Cut Piece, then,
the performers wore bags, under which they were fully
clothed. Due to specifically stated park policy, nudity was

The next known male solo performance of Cut Piece was in the
fall of 1968, and the performer was Jon Hendricks, then
director of the Judson Gallery, and now Ono’s exhibitions
manager as well as curator of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman
Fluxus Collection. Hendricks was a guest instructor for a
“Semester in New York” program sponsored by a consortium of
Midwest colleges. The students were living at the Paris
Hotel, where the course was taught. Hendricks performed Cut
Piece as part of their introduction to the course.

I was kind of nervous so I decided to do Cut Piece. I bought
a suit at the thrift store, put the scissors down in front of
me and explained the work. I saw it as a kind of leveling of
the student - teacher relationship and a way of getting into
something that was timely in terms of both performance and
social issues - the war in Vietnam, riots, and the feeling of
some of us against authority in society. And here I was, the
authority figure . . . . [12] Hendricks’s performance seems
to have been more about challenging the authority of the
performer rather than his vulnerability.

Thus a feminist interpretation of the piece seems to presume
a female performer - something never mandated by the artist
herself. This in turn likely reflects a commonly held notion
that an original performer and an original performance
constitute an authentic version of the piece. Curiously, more
recent performances by men (Jim Bovino at the Walker Art
Center in 2001 and John Noga at the University of Akron in
2007, for example) have more closely kept to Ono’s score.
Both Bovino and Noga assumed the seated position indicated in
Ono’s instruction and maintained a calm, passive demeanor.
Thus performed, the more recent feminist framings seem
irrelevant - and the “content” seems more clearly to be the
actions of the audience members themselves.

This notion of the “original” performance work that underlies
much of the recent interest in performance “reenactment”
might well hold true for other performances by other artists,
but not of performances encoded in scores - Fluxus or
otherwise. Marina Abramović, who recently performed a number
of well - known performance works from the 1960s and 1970s at
the Guggenheim Museum (Seven Easy Pieces, November 2005),
spoke about her own work of the 1970s at a symposium that
followed the week of performances: “We never wanted to repeat
things . . . . We never even wanted to be photographed. We
were pure pure pure.” [13] Curiously, her week of historic
performances was made possible by what Nancy Princenthal
characterizes as a “radical response.”

By treating the irremediably category - resistant performance
form as if it were, say, popular music, and translating
“instructions” as “score,” a performance could be
re - presented by anyone with the necessary stamina and
determination (no small qualifications). If the original
artists were credited and paid, the whole messy medium could
be brought into the world of copyright and distribution and
licensing fees - in a word, into the marketplace. To use
another mouthful of a word, it could also, Abramović argues,
thereby be brought into the academic discourse of history.”

Of course, this concept of performance score has existed
within the Fluxus orbit since at least the early 1960s - the
very period at stake in Abramović’s project. More
problematic, however, is the idea that new performances
provide an object of sorts for art historical study. As
demonstrated above, reformulations of Cut Piece have arguably
contributed to a distortion of the work, more so than an
illumination of it. On the other hand, the nature of Ono’s
work seems not merely to allow this, but encourage it.
Indeed, one might argue that Cut Piece, more than anything
else, exploits the hermeneutic circle among artist, score,
performer, audience, and critic.

Readings of Cut Piece as feminist, pacifist,
anti - authoritarian, Buddhist, Christian - and even as a
striptease - are all valid. The many and varied interpretations
of Cut Piece by artist, performers, audiences, and critics
testify to the work’s great power - a power embedded in its
score. But most importantly, Cut Piece is an incredibly rich
and poetic work that poses seldom - asked questions about the
nature of art itself and in the process opens itself up to a
multitude of readings. To assert that any of its performances
or interpretations are definitive denies the work the very
multivalence at its core and minimizes the qualities that
make it forever vital and alive.

1. Dick Higgins, Postface, New York: Something Else Press,
1964, 2.

2. Jennifer Allen, “‘Einmal ist keinmal’: Observations on
Reenactment,” in Life, Once More: Forms of Reenactment in
Contemporary Art, edited by Sven Lütticken, Rotterdam: Witte
de With, Center for Contemporary Art, 2005, 211–13.

3. Dick Higgins, “Fluxus Theory and Reception,” in The Fluxus
Reader, New York: Academy Editions, 1998, 230.

4. E - mail correspondence with the author, March 28, 1997.

5. Barbara Haskell and John G. Hanhardt, Yoko Ono: Objects
and Arias, Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 90.

6. Marcia Tanner, “Mother Laughed: The ‘Bad Girls’ Avant -
Garde,” in Bad Girls, New York: New Museum of Contemporary
Art, 1994, 61.

7. Robert Enright, “Instructions in the Marital Arts: A
Conversation with Yoko Ono,” Border Crossings 13,1 (Winter
1994): 37.

8. Roger Perry and Tony Elliott, “Yoko Ono,” Unit (December
1967): 26–27.

9. Yoko Ono, “If I Don’t Give Birth Now, I Will Never Be Able
To,” Just Me! The Very First Autobiographical Essay by the
World’s Most Famous Japanese Woman, Tokyo: Kodansha
International, 1986, 34–36. This article was originally
published in the summer of 1974 in the Japanese magazine,
Bungei Shunju, during Ono’s “Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Super
Band: Let’s Have a Dream” tour. This translation was
commissioned by the author from Akira Suzuki.

10. “The title is ‘Stripping’ - avant - garde musician, Ono
Yoko’s recital,” Shukan Taishu 36,10 (September 1964): 1.
This translation was commissioned by the author from Sumie
Ota. Thanks to Mikihiko Hori for providing publication
details for this previously unidentified press cutting from
the artist’s files.

11. “The Hippiest Artistic Happening: ‘Step Up and Strip Me
Nude,’” TAB 18,2 (June 1968): 65–68.

12. Jon Hendricks’s personal communication with the author,
New York City, February 4, 1998. In a personal communication
of June 6, 2001, Hendricks recalled that he was seated in a
chair for his performance.

13. Abramović, quoted in Nancy Princenthal, “Back for One
Night Only!” Art in America (February 2006): 90.

14. Princenthal, 90.

KEVIN CONCANNON is Associate Professor of Art History at the
Myers School of Art at The University of Akron–Ohio. With
John Noga, he is curator of Yoko Ono Imagine Peace Featuring
John & Yoko’s Year of Peace, currently traveling, and Agency:
Art and Advertising, scheduled for September 12 through
November 8, 2008 at the McDonough Museum of Art at Youngtown
State University.

© 2008 Kevin Concannon

Published in PAJ - A Journal of Performance and Art
Sept 90 (2008), pp. 81–93

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