Okay, okay, there’ve been ALMOST enough Yoko blogs. But her performance at SFMOMA today deserves a report. Ono took the stage with curator Paul Schimmel (MOCA, LA) for an opening conversation. She sweetly answered a series of questions about her early life (telling a touching anecdote about her first memory of San Francisco—if you really want to know, e-mail me.) Then Schimmel calls for video of her famous performance Cut Piece (in which Ono kneels silently as members of the audience cut off her clothes). The video rolls; Ono beckons a surprised Schimmel to crawl into a stretchy black bag with her. The fabric ripples and bulges,hands thrust clothing out of the bag onto the stage. A shirt, a watch, a shoe, another shoe… until the video ends. Nine minutes don’t seem to be enough to undress completely while lying on the floor in a dark bag. Schimmel and Ono emerge partly clothed and big-time curator boy hustles off stage barefoot and tucking in his shirttails. After that ice-breaker, Ono performed two intense vocals, accompanied by a harpist and her son Sean on guitar. Finally, she accepted questions from the audience, appearing to do her best respond in a straightforward way to whatever was asked. It got a little therapeutic at the end there; people poured their stories out to her listening ears. But Ono is the real deal. Her performance knit the crowd together and shifted the energy in a way you could feel. It may be ‘60s, but it’s not stale. Thanks, Yoko.

- Meredith Tromble [Saturday, June 22nd, 2002]


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