Yoko Ono: One Woman Show: 1960–1971

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*Cut Piece*

Yoko Ono. Cut Piece. 1964

Yoko Ono. Cut Piece (1964) performed by Yoko Ono in New Works of Yoko Ono, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, March 21, 1965. Photo: Minoru Niizuma. Courtesy of Yoko Ono. © Minoru Niizuma 2015

Curator, Christophe Cherix: In Cut Piece, members of the audience were invited to approach and cut away pieces of Ono’s clothing, as she knelt silently on a stage.

Yoko Ono: When I do the Cut Piece, I get into a trance, and so I don't feel too frightened. There's several layers of meanings. So of course I was saying, hey, you're doing this to women, you know? We're all in it. But also, at the time, it's much better to just go with it. And that thought of letting women know that, you know, we're all going through this, but don't fight, let it happen. By not fighting, we show them that there's a whole world, which could exist by being peaceful.

We usually give something with a purpose of ours.  But I wanted to see what they would take. Also, I realized that when somebody's cutting you – geometrically, it's a line. But our body is a curve. And they're trying to cut the curve with a line, which is very strange. And that's what they do in life.

There was a long silence between one person coming up and the next person coming up. And I said it's a fantastic, beautiful music, you know? Ba-ba-ba, cut! Ba-ba-ba, cut! Beautiful poetry, actually.