This year marks the 50th anniversary of Yoko Ono’s 1965 performance of Morning Piece in New York City. To commemorate Morning Piece and in conjunction with Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971</a>, MoMA and PopRally have organized YOKO ONO MORNING PEACE 2015, a global sunrise celebration on the summer solstice, Sunday, June 21.</p>
In 1965 Morning Piece was performed over three days on the roof of Ono’s apartment building at 87 Christopher Street. Like many of her early works, Morning Piece originated as an instruction with the potential to be realized by the artist or others. To perform the work, Ono attached small pieces of paper to shards of glass and sold them to participants. Each specified a future date and a particular period of the morning, namely “until sunrise,” “after sunrise,” or “all morning.” She conceived Morning Piece while she was living in Japan in 1964 and held several performances—at her apartment, on the roof of a gallery, in a park—selling mornings and informing buyers, “You can see the sky through it.” It is through the changing sky, a dominant motif in Ono’s work, that a morning is experienced. The work offers the buyer the possibility of possessing an intangible, universally shared, and infinitely repeating feature of human life: a morning. The artist views sunrise as an opportunity for renewal and reflection and she encourages participants in Morning Piece to use their glass morning as a vehicle for meditation and contemplation.
Morning Piece was dedicated to friend and fellow artist George Maciunas, and part of the instruction read, “Since there is no country without a morning, you can use it anywhere you go.” It is in this international spirit that PopRally’s YOKO ONO MORNING PEACE 2015 was conceived. The event is organized by The Museum of Modern in New York in partnership with the Fondazione La Triennale di Milano (Milan), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow), the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (Istanbul), the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), M+ (Hong Kong), the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo). YOKO ONO MORNING PEACE 2015 is a gathering activated by events across the globe, allowing the sunrise celebration to continue for 24 hours as the sun rises in different time zones across the globe.
The MORNING PEACE event engages with several different elements of Ono’s work. To commemorate the moment of sunrise, Ono asks that participants interpret her 1963 instruction, “Touch each other.” Ono regards consensual, tactile communication as a profoundly poetic experience and asks MORNING PEACE participants to engage with each other in a simple, yet radical way: through the sense of touch. The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby and The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden will be open, giving visitors direct access to the sky, Ono’s source of inspiration, as the sun rises. Honoring Ono’s extensive musical career and influence on younger generations of artists, Blood Orange and DJ Flat White will perform. In conjunction with the event at MoMA and at partner institutions around the world, individuals are invited to host their own MORNING PEACE events in the spirit of a new instruction by the artist:
On the solstice at sunrise
celebrate mornings of
past, future, and now.
Listen to the world.
Touch each other
when the sun comes up.
y.o. spring 2015
The summer solstice is June 21. Come to MoMA, share the sunrise, dance in the dawning light, touch each other, look to the sky.