December 28, 2009

Honor Spotlight

Yoko Ono



Yoko Ono is one of the most famous widows in the world. Her name is synonymous with the Beatles and John Lennon. She began making films in the 1960's and made substantial contributions to the avant garde genre of film. When Yoko Ono began this part of her life, she was already an established artist playing an active role in the world of music, most well known by her "primal scream" or high pitched wails. In the early 1960's, Ono became part of a group known as Fluxus, whose artists were "dedicated to challenging conventional definitions in the fine arts, and conventional relationships between artwork and viewer." The artwork that Yoko made in the early 1960's required the viewer to complete the process. "Painting to See a Room Through," made in 1961, was a canvas with an almost invisible hole through which the viewer could see the room. "Painting to Hammer a Nail In," also made in 1961, was a white wood panel that the audience hammered a nail into with an attached hammer. In the mid 1960's Yoko began to write mini film scripts. She contributed three films to the Fluxfilm Program in 1966. Two of these films, Eyeblink and Match, are one shot films shot at 2000 frames per second. She also included No. 4, or Bottoms, in her contribution. Yoko continued to make films through the early 1970's, many of which she collaborated with her husband, John Lennon. Her films can be divided into themes. The first of which, like bottoms, consists of close examination of the naked human body. The second category are theoretical films. They have a theme of movement and change. The last category are documentaries. Bed-In made in 1969, is the filming of the peace event Ono and Lennon staged on their honeymoon. Yoko Ono can be viewed as a radical artist, someone who requires an open mind in order to have her work appreciated. She stretches the limits of what society views as acceptable and never ceases to create an opportunity for the viewer to step back and reflect.

--Shahbeila Bateman

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